Parent of alleged victim speaks out

Updated: November 9, 2011, 2:08 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The mother of one of the eight boys alleged to have been sexually assaulted by a former Penn State assistant football coach praised her son for his courage and concern for the other alleged victims and said the university could have prevented the abuse.

The coach, Jerry Sandusky, faces child sexual abuse charges, and Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the school's senior vice president for business and finance, were arraigned Monday on charges they lied to a grand jury and failed to properly report the abuse.

"I'm very proud of him," the mother, in an interview with the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., said of her son, who is now 24.

"He's a brave kid," the woman told the newspaper. "And his major concern in the whole thing was for anybody else. That was his big thing. He said, 'I just don't want this to happen to anybody else.' "

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly on Monday specifically asked that a child, reportedly assaulted by Sandusky in view of a graduate student in 2002, contact detectives about the alleged incident. Kelly said Penn State officials never made any attempt to identify the child that the grad assistant saw in the showers with Sandusky.

Kelly also said the Nittany Lions' longtime football coach, Joe Paterno, is not a target of the investigation into how the school handled the accusations. Paterno is scheduled to meet with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, said his client has been aware of the accusations for about three years and has maintained his innocence. Amendola has said that Sandusky attributes the allegations to troubled kids who are acting out.

"I'm so upset," the mother of the now-24-year-old alleged victim told the Harrisburg paper. "My son is extremely distraught, and now to see how we were betrayed, words cannot tell you."

Penn State president Graham Spanier thew his initial support behind Curley and Schultz. Late Sunday, after an emergency meeting of the board of trustees, Spanier announced that Curley and Schultz would be leaving their posts.

"To see that Graham Spanier is putting his unconditional support behind Curley and Shultz when he should be putting his support behind the victims, it just makes them victims all over again," the mother told the Patriot News.

The newspaper ran a front-page editorial calling for Spanier to step aside, or have the board of trustees push him out, and calling for the 84-year-old Paterno to make this his last season.

"His contract should not be extended," the paper wrote. "This is not about age. This is not about rebuilding a football team." Later, the paper said: "Paterno should be allowed to finish out the year and retire with the honor and admiration he has earned since taking over as head coach in 1966. It might always be honor with an asterisk, admiration with a shake of the head. Joe will have to live with that."

The front page of the Philadelphia Daily News is a photo of Paterno with a one-word headline: Shame. The Philadelphia Inquirer, meanwhile, wrote that Paterno's "oft-discussed retirement would be timelier than ever -- even though leaving amid this scandal will provide a sad coda to an otherwise stellar career for the man who, until now, served as the reassuring public face of Penn State."

The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., on its editorial page, wrote: "This would be a sad and ignominious ending to Joe Paterno's legacy, but it must be just that -- an ending." The editorial concluded with: "Given the disgusting nature of these widespread allegations, the insidious connections to Penn State football and Paterno's lack of judgment when told, it's time for him to take his 409 victories and Hall of Fame bust and leave. Quickly."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that "Penn State officials must answer for a culture that cowed so many people to look the other way rather than come to the aid of the boys involved."

The Penn State Alumni Association released a statement Tuesday outlining steps issued by the board of trustees designed to increase the safety and security of all school facilities.

"This is a deeply troubling time for Penn State and the Penn State Alumni Association," the statement read in part. The allegations ... have shaken the university community profoundly. The Alumni Association has received e-mails, social network postings, and calls from alumni expressing their deep concern regarding the charges -- and we share those concerns."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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