Officials seeking alleged abuse victims

Updated: November 9, 2011, 2:07 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A pair of high-ranking Penn State officials were arraigned Monday on charges they lied to a grand jury and failed to properly report alleged child sexual abuse by former Nittany Lions assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, as officials asked others who may have been assaulted by Sandusky to come forward.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly specifically asked that a child, reportedly assaulted by Sandusky in view of a graduate student, contact detectives about the alleged 2002 incident.

Kelly also said the university's longtime football coach, Joe Paterno, is not a target of the investigation into how the school handled the accusations.

But a state police commissioner questioned Monday whether Paterno and others at Penn State had fallen short of a "moral responsibility" to report suspected child sexual abuse to police.

Paterno, who last week became the coach with the most wins in Division I football history, wasn't charged and the grand jury report didn't appear to implicate him in wrongdoing. He testified before the grand jury.

Kelly spoke at a news conference Monday, two days after child sexual abuse charges were filed against Sandusky and about an hour before athletic director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the school's senior vice president for business and finance, were arraigned.

Kelly said Penn State officials never made any attempt to identify the child that the grad assistant saw in the showers with Sandusky in 2002.

"Today as we stand here, we encourage that person who is now likely to be a young adult to contact investigators from the attorney general's office," she said. "This is an ongoing and active investigation. ... We are determined to quickly respond to any new witnesses or any additional information that may appear."

Curley and Schultz were not required to enter pleas Monday but they had to surrender their passports. Each was being released on $75,000 bail.

Curley's lawyer, Caroline Roberto, called the case weak, while Schultz's lawyer, Tom Farrell, said the men did what they were supposed to do by informing their superiors of the accusations.

"You folks may have seen Mr. Paterno's statement," Farrell told reporters. "Mr. Paterno's statement matches their statement. They were given a general allegation of inappropriate conduct. That's what Mr. Paterno told them, that's what Mr. Paterno told you folks yesterday, that's what he testified to in the grand jury, and that's what these gentlemen testified to in the grand jury."

Sandusky was arrested Saturday on charges that he preyed on boys he met through The Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youths. The charity said in a statement Sunday that Sandusky has had no involvement with its programs involving children since 2008, when Sandusky told the foundation that he was being investigated.

A prohibition against Sandusky taking youths onto Penn State's main campus was imposed in 2002, the year a student claimed to see him assault a child in a locker room shower. But Sandusky held summer football camps through his Sandusky Associates company at the satellite campus just outside Erie between 2000 and 2008, Penn State Behrend spokesman Bill Gonda said.

"We provided the facilities for it," Gonda said Monday. "There were no allegations, no complaints during his tenure here."

Gonda referred questions about other issues, including whether the school knew about other allegations against Sandusky before allowing the camp to be held there, to officials at the main campus in State College, a four-hour drive southeast of Erie.

School spokeswoman Lisa Powers said Penn State Erie and Penn State Harrisburg provided facilities for Sandusky to run a summer football camp under his own name.

Sandusky's now offline website said he operated football camps not only at the Behrend campus but also at Penn State Capital College in Middletown, Robert Morris University and Muhlenberg college, offering his personal attention and coaching.

Curley, the athletics director back then, and Schultz, the senior vice president, will seek to have Saturday's abuse charges dismissed, their lawyers said.

Both men have maintained they are innocent of any wrongdoing in connection with the probe into whether Sandusky sexually abused eight boys -- preteens and young teenagers -- over a 15-year period.

Schultz's lawyer said his client was not among those required by law to report suspected abuse. He also argued that the two-year statute of limitations on the summary offense has expired.

Late Sunday, after an emergency meeting of the board of trustees, university president Graham Spanier announced that Curley and Schultz would be leaving their posts.

Curley requested to be placed on administrative leave so he could devote time to his defense, and Schultz will be going back into retirement, Spanier said.

State police commissioner Frank Noonan said, as far as state police can tell, Paterno fulfilled his legal requirement to report.

"But somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child," Noonan said. "I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you're a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us."

In a statement issued Sunday, Paterno called the charges shocking.

"The fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling," he said. "If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers."

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Paterno has long had an image as a leader who does things by the book and runs a program that has seen far fewer major scandals than other major college football teams. But doubts about his judgment in handling the Sandusky matter quickly began to emerge.

Facebook users, including those on a newly created group called "Joe Paterno should resign," expressed outrage and disappointment in Paterno. Many said Paterno should have gone to police after the 2002 incident.

At Rinaldo's Barber Shop in State College, hair cutter Lori Schope said she believes Paterno shares responsibility.

"He passed the buck," she said. "Anybody that says they knew about it and didn't do anything about it is complicit."

As of Monday, Penn State had not lost any of its 16 committed recruits for 2012. But the unfolding scandal could cost the Nittany Lions in their pursuit of Noah Spence (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt), who is ranked No. 4 in the ESPNU 150.

A post on Spence's Twitter account Monday read: "Um psu might be a no no for me ewwww."

Minutes later, after a fan tweeted to say it was Spence's loss if he was no longer considering Penn State, the following reply appeared on Spence's page: "i kind of just dnt want to be apart of that."

Penn State has been believed to be among Spence's top choices, along with Florida. LSU is also reportedly in the running.

Sandusky spent three decades at Penn State running the defense and was once considered Paterno's likely successor. The charges against him cover the period from 1994 to 2009.

Sandusky, who is married and has six adopted children with his wife, Dottie, retired in 1999 but continued to use the school's facilities. University officials said Sunday they were moving to ban him from campus in the wake of the charges.

Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office, told The Associated Press on Sunday that it was premature to discuss whether Paterno might testify at trial.

"That's putting the cart way ahead of the horse," he said. "We're certainly not going to be discussing the lineup of potential witnesses."

Former Penn State and NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington, in a blog for The Washington Post, wrote of Sandusky: "I'm perplexed as to how someone who did so much good could end up being accused of something so bad."

"I have my own kids, and I know how strongly I feel about them and protecting them from hurt, harm and danger. Selfishly I hope that Jerry is innocent, but if he isn't, as a parent my thought is may God show mercy on him," said Arrington's blog entry for the Post.

"On one side I want Jerry to be innocent because he was a great man to me, but on the other side, as a responsible parent if he did molest or assault those children, then he needs to be responsible for his actions, as we all have to be," Arrington wrote in the Post.

Sandusky was described by Keith "Kip" Richeal, co-author of his autobiography "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story," as a loving father of six adopted children.

"I hope to God it's not true because I admire the man very much," Richeal said. "All I saw was Jerry was kind to kids of all ages, including the students he dealt with."

The allegations against Sandusky, who started The Second Mile in 1977, range from sexual advances, to touching, to oral and anal sex. The young men testified before a state grand jury that they were in their early teens when some of the abuse occurred; there is evidence even younger children may have been victimized.

Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, said his client has been aware of the accusations for about three years and has maintained his innocence.

"He's shaky, as you can expect," Amendola told WJAC-TV. "Being 67 years old, never having faced criminal charges in his life and having the distinguished career that he's had, these are very serious allegations."

Sandusky is charged with multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor, as well as single counts of aggravated indecent assault and attempted indecent assault.

One accuser, now 27, testified that Sandusky initiated contact with a "soap battle" in the shower that led to multiple instances of involuntary sexual intercourse and indecent assault at Sandusky's hands, the grand jury report said.

The accuser said he traveled to charity functions and Penn State games with Sandusky. But when the boy resisted his advances, Sandusky threatened to send him home from the 1999 Alamo Bowl, the report said.

Sandusky also gave him clothes, shoes, a snowboard, golf clubs, hockey gear and football jerseys, and even guaranteed that he could walk on to the football team, the grand jury said. The accuser testified that Sandusky once gave him $50 to buy marijuana, drove him to purchase it and then drove him home as the boy smoked the drug.

The first case to come to light was a boy who met Sandusky when he was 11 or 12, and physical contact began during his overnight stays at Sandusky's house, the grand jury said. Eventually, the boy's mother reported the sexual assault allegations to his high school, and Sandusky was banned from the child's school district in Clinton County. That triggered the state investigation that culminated in charges Saturday.

But the report also alleges much earlier instances of abuse and details failed efforts to stop it by some who became aware of what was happening.

Another child, known only as a boy about 11 to 13, was seen by a janitor pinned against a wall while Sandusky performed oral sex on him in fall 2000, the grand jury said.

And in 2002, Kelly said, a graduate assistant saw Sandusky sexually assault a naked boy, estimated to be about 10 years old, in a team locker room shower. The grad student and his father reported what he saw to Paterno, who immediately told Curley, prosecutors said.

The two school administrators fielded the complaint from the graduate assistant and from Paterno.

Two people familiar with the investigation confirmed the identity of the graduate assistant as Mike McQueary, now the team's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. The two spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the names in the grand jury report haven't been publicly released.

"I don't want to be rude ... but as a witness I'm not permitted to say anything," McQueary's father John told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap on Monday.

John McQueary told the AP his son was out of town on a recruiting trip Sunday, and he declined to comment about the case or say whether they were the two named in the grand jury report.

"I know it's online, and I know it's available," John McQueary told the AP. "I have gone out of my way not to read it for a number of reasons."

The grand jury report said McQueary was in the locker room that night to put away some new sneakers when he heard "rhythmic, slapping sounds" and looked into the showers.

He reportedly saw a naked boy, about 10, with his hands against the wall as Sandusky subjected him to anal sex. McQueary left immediately and first contacted his father before calling Paterno the next morning and then meeting at Paterno's home.

Exactly what was said during that meeting is unclear from the grand jury record, which states that Paterno called Curley the next day to tell him McQueary had seen Sandusky "in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."

Paterno released a statement Sunday in which he said he was not told "the very specific actions" contained in the grand jury report, but that McQueary had seen "something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky."

Curley and Schultz met with the graduate assistant about a week and a half after the attack was reported, Kelly said.

"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.

Neither Schultz nor Curley appear to have had direct contact with the boys Sandusky is accused of abusing.

As a summary offense, failure to report suspected child abuse carries up to three months in jail and a $200 fine.

Curley and Schultz also are accused of perjury for their testimony to the grand jury that issued a 23-page report on the matter Friday, the day before state prosecutors charged them. Sandusky was arrested Saturday and charged with 40 criminal counts.

Curley denied that the assistant had reported anything of a sexual nature, calling it "merely 'horsing around,' " the grand jury report said. But he also testified that he barred Sandusky from bringing children onto campus and that he advised Spanier, the school president, of the matter.

The grand jury said Curley was lying, Kelly said, adding that it also deemed portions of Schultz's testimony not to be credible.

Schultz told the jurors he also knew of a 1998 investigation involving sexually inappropriate behavior by Sandusky with a boy in the showers the football team used.

But despite his job overseeing campus police, he never reported the 2002 allegations to any authorities, "never sought or received a police report on the 1998 incident and never attempted to learn the identity of the child in the shower in 2002," the jurors wrote. "No one from the university did so."

The university is paying legal costs for Curley and Schultz because the allegations against them concern how they fulfilled their responsibilities as employees, spokeswoman Lisa Powers said.

Information from The Associated Press and Recruiting Nation's Jared Shanker was used in this report.