AG announces charges against Jerry Sandusky, 2 top PSU officials - abc27 WHTM

AG announces arrest of Sandusky, charges against 2 top Penn St. officials

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Jerry Sandusky Jerry Sandusky
Tim Curly Tim Curly
Gary Schultz Gary Schultz

Penn State's legendary assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested Saturday on child sex abuse charges, as state prosecutors announced charges against two top university officials who apparently knew of at least one incident on the campus and did nothing about it.

Attorney General Linda Kelly said Timothy Curley, Penn State's director of athletics, and Gary Schultz, the university's senior vice president for finance and business, are charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. Schultz's position includes oversight of the university's police department.

"This is a case about a sexual predator who used his position within the university and community to repeatedly prey on young boys," Kelly said in a news release Saturday. "It is also a case about high-ranking university officials who allegedly failed to report the sexual assault of a young boy after the information was brought to their attention, and later made false statements to a grand jury that was investigating a series of assaults on young boys."

Kelly said the attorney general's office and state police began the investigation when a young boy reported that Sandusky had sexually abused him while the boy was a house guest at Sandusky's home near State College.

According to evidence presented to an investigating grand jury, the boy was 11 or 12 years old when he first met Sandusky at a camp for The Second Mile program, a charity for at-risk children founded by Sandusky.

Sandusky used expensive gifts to keep in touch with the boy - including trips to professional and college sporting events, golf clubs, a computer, clothing and money - and used the overnight visits at his home to perform sex acts on the boy, according to the grand jury.

Kelly said Sandusky also used his position as a volunteer coach at a Clinton County high school to keep in touch with the boy, and often called him study halls to have unsupervised "meetings."

According to Kelly, the grand jury heard testimony from a wrestling coach at the high school, who reported Sandusky was found lying face-to-face with the boy in a secluded weight room. Other officials at the high school testified that Sandusky's behavior around boys was "suspicious."

Sandusky was barred from the school district in 2009 after the boy's mother reported allegations of sexual assault to the school, according to Kelly.

The reaction from top Penn State officials was much different when they learned of a sexual assault involving Sandusky seven years earlier, Kelly said.

"One of the most compelling and disturbing pieces of testimony in this investigation came from an eyewitness to a late-night sexual assault that allegedly occurred in March of 2002, in the locker room of the Lasch Football Building on the University Park Campus," Kelly said. "Hearing what sounded like sexual activity in the showers of a building that was supposed to be empty, a graduate assistant reportedly observed Sandusky sexually assaulting a naked boy who appeared to be about 10 years old."

Kelly said the assistant was extremely upset about what he had seen and immediately called his father. The two decided that the assistant should promptly report the incident to head football coach Joe Paterno.

The assistant phoned Paterno the next morning and then went to Paterno's home to explain what he had seen. Kelly said Paterno testified to the grand jury that he called Curley and met with the athletic director the following day.

About a week-and-a-half later, the assistant was called to a meeting with Curley and Schultz and recounted what he had witnessed.

"Despite a powerful eyewitness statement about the sexual assault of a child, this incident was not reported to any law enforcement or child protective agency, as required by Pennsylvania law," Kelly said. "Additionally, there is no indication that anyone from the university ever attempted to learn the identity of the child who was sexually assaulted on their campus or made any follow-up effort to obtain more information from the person who witnessed the attack first-hand."

Kelly said that rather than reporting the matter to law enforcement, Curley and Schultz agreed that Sandusky would be told he could not bring any Second Mile children into the football building.

"Despite this so-called ‘ban', which was reviewed and approved by University President Graham Spanier without any further inquiry on his part, there was no effective change in Sandusky's status with the school and no limits on his access to the campus," Kelly said. "Sandusky's ‘emeritus' position, alleged negotiated as part of his 1999 retirement, provided him with an office in the Lasch Football Building; unlimited access to all football facilities, including the locker room; access to all recreational facilities; a parking pass; a university Internet account; listing in the faculty directory and numerous other privileges – he had remained a regular presence on campus."

Kelly said that during Schultz's testimony before the grand jury, he admitted he was aware of a 1998 University Police investigation that also involved allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior involving Sandusky and young boys in the football showers, but did not pursue the matter further - even after the second report in 2002.

Kelly said the grand jury determined that Curley and Schultz lied about their response to the 2002 report, and that Curley committed perjury while repeatedly denying he had ever heard of abuse allegations against Sandusky.

Schultz testified that the allegations against Sandusky were "not that serious" and that he and Curley "had no indication that a crime had occurred," according to Kelly.

"The failure of top university officials to act on reports of Sandusky's alleged sexual misconduct, even after it was reported to them in graphic detail by an eyewitness, allowed a predator to walk free for years - continuing to target new victims," Kelly said. "Equally disturbing is the lack of action and apparent lack of concern among those same officials, and others who received information about this case, who either avoided asking difficult questions or chose to look the other way."

Kelly said that despite the false testimony and "uncooperative atmosphere" by some Penn State University and Second Mile officials, the grand jury eventually identified a total of eight young men who were targets of sexual advances or assaults by Sandusky, starting in 1994 and continuing through 2009, after meeting him through Second Mile activities.

Sandusky was arrested Saturday on seven first-degree felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse as well as charges of aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors, and indecent assault.

He was released on $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.

Curley and Schultz are scheduled to surrender on Monday to a district judge in Harrisburg.

Kelly said the search for additional victims is ongoing and the case remains active. Anyone with information is asked to call the state attorney general's office at 814-863-1053 or state police at 814-470-2238.

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