Jerry Sandusky Arrested on New Charges

New charges have been filed against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The latest charges follow grand jury testimony from two additional young men who were allegedly targeted by Sandusky when they were children. The Attorney General’s office says victim 9 first encountered Sandusky while participating in a summer camp organized by The Second Mile around 2004 when he was 11 or 12 years old.  Officials say Victim 10 was referred to The Second Mile in 1997 when he was 10 and met Sandusky at a summer camp.

Sandusky was arrested Wednesday on a dozen new charges, including indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. He was taken to Centre County Jail after being unable to immediately post $250 thousand dollars bail. Terms of his bail also include electronic monitoring and house arrest.

In a news release, the Attorney General and State Police Commissioner emphasized that this remains an active and ongoing investigation.

Sandusky had already faced 40 counts of child sexual abuse involving eight boys identified during a lengthy grand jury investigation.  The new charges are based on evidence and testimony that was received after his initial arrest on November 5th.

The alleged incidents in the new charges occurred at a hotel swimming pool in the State College area, at Sandusky’s home, in a swimming pool on the Penn State campus and in a car.

Legislative Panel May Investigate Child Abuse Laws

In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State, many lawmakers are calling for revisions to the state’s child abuse statutes.  There was talk on the House floor Thursday night of a forthcoming joint resolution that would create a bipartisan, bicameral panel to investigate which laws need strengthened and how.

“I’ve had conversations with the Governor, members of his administration, House leaders and Senate Democratic leaders about the bipartisan, bicameral approach to addressing the issues raised by the Penn State child abuse indictments,” Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said in a statement.  “I am committed to a thoughtful process that produces stronger protections for children across the state.”    

House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny) released the following statement: “This commission will only succeed if it is truly independent and impartial.  In addition to the Judiciary Committee chairmen, it should include the chairs of the Children and Youth Committee.  The non-legislative members must not be involved in conducting the current criminal investigation, nor should the commission include anyone who was part of that investigation at any earlier point.  The commission needs the ability to subpoena witnesses so that it is empowered to find the truth.”

Earlier in the week, Governor Tom Corbett encouraged a “dispassionate” legislative response.  “I think we now have time to take a good look at this to take our time and do it right,” Corbett told a gaggle of reporters. 

Penn State and Nebraska players gathered in prayer prior to last Saturday's football game.

Interim Coach Addresses Media

Barely 12-hours after the Penn State Board of Trustees ousted football coach Joe Paterno, his replacement was thrust into the media spotlight.  Interim coach Tom Bradley says he takes the job with mixed emotions.  “I grieve for the victims, I grieve for the families,” Bradley said as he made note of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal that has rocked the entire PSU community.  “I think you should know where our team is toward this whole issue, it’s toward those children, toward their families.  Our thoughts and our prayers are with them.” 

Bradley played for Penn State in the late 1970s, and had served on Joe Paterno’s staff ever since.  As a defensive coach he used to work under Jerry Sandusky, but Bradley declined to comment on that relationship due to the ongoing investigation. 

Bradley did say that Joe Paterno has meant more to him than any person besides his own father:  tombradley-joepa

Penn State has three more games on the 2011 schedule, and is still in the running to play in the first Big Ten Championship Game on December 3rd.  This Saturday’s contest against Nebraska is the final home game of the season.

Paterno Fired, Spanier Out

It took just five days for the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal to rock Penn State University to its core.  Just after 10 o’clock Wednesday night, the announcement came that Graham Spanier was out as PSU president and Joe Paterno was relieved of his duties as head football coach.  “These decisions were made after careful deliberations and in the best interests of the university as a whole,” said Board of Trustees Vice Chairman John Surma. 

In a statement, Spanier called it an honor to serve Penn State for 16 years as president.  Spanier says he was stunned to learn that any predatory act might have occurred in a university facility.  “The acts of no one person should define this university.  Penn State is defined by the traditions, loyalty and integrity of hundreds of thousands of students, alumni and employees,” the statement continued.

Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno

84-year-old Coach Joe Paterno had been at Penn State for 61-years.  In his 46-years as head coach, he racked up 409-victories, more than any other coach in Division I college football history.  Paterno’s complete statement reads:

“I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case.  I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.

I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.

That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.

This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life.  With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.

My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.”

The Penn State Board of Trustees has named Dr. Rodney Erickson as the interim president.  Erickson previously served as vice president and provost.  Long-time Paterno assistant coach Tom Bradley has been named interim head football coach.  The Penn State football team plays host to Nebraska this Saturday.  It is their final home game of the season.

Advocates Hope Scandal Serves as Wake-up Call

One-time Penn State coaching icon Jerry Sandusky is accused of sexually assaulting young boys for more than a decade, and two university officials are charged with perjury and failure to report.  Head coach Joe Paterno’s weekly news conference was canceled on Tuesday, only fueling the speculation that he could be removed from the post he’s held for 46 years.

Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance Director of Training Tina Phillips was shocked and horrified when she first learned of the scandal.  “My heart goes out to the victims and their families,” she says, adding that that anyone can report the suspicion of child abuse.  “To do so all you need to do is contact ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313,they’re there 24-hours a day, seven days a week.”    

The Penn State Board of Trustees has already announced its intention to form a task force to review the university’s policies and procedures concerning the safety of children.  The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape has already reached out to PSU to offer its assistance and expertise.  “it’s just critical that they have the experts of child sexual abuse at the table when that is formed,” says PCAR CEO Delilah Rumburg.  “I hope that the good that comes from this is that it is a wake-up call to every adult in communities throughout the commonwealth, or anywhere else, that we have the responsibility to protect our children.”

Paterno’s Weekly News Conference Nixed

Roughly an hour before Coach Joe Paterno’s weekly news conference was to begin, word came down that the plug had been pulled.  This comes as news media from far and wide raise questions in the wake of the sex abuse scandal surrounding former PSU coaching icon Jerry Sandusky.  Paterno also missed Tuesday afternoon’s Big Ten coaches’ teleconference. 

The statement from Penn State Athletics read: “Due to the on-going legal circumstances centered around the recent allegations and charges, we have determined that today’s press conference cannot be held and will not be re-scheduled.”

An earlier advisory from Penn State Athletics read: “Media planning to attend Tuesday’s Penn State Football weekly teleconference are advised that that primary focus of the teleconference is to answer questions related to Penn State’s Senior Day game with Nebraska this Saturday. Head coach Joe Paterno and any Penn State Football student-athletes in attendance will be answering questions about the Nebraska game, Penn State’s season thus far and other topics related to the current college football season.”

Word of Penn State’s woes has even spread to the White House.  During a stop in suburban Philadelphia on Tuesday, President Barack Obama began his comments with an indirect reference to the PSU football program.  “I was told not to mention football at all,” Obama said amid some laughter and a few groans from the audience.  “So I’m not going to say anything about football while I’m here, because I know this is a sensitive subject.”    

While the 84-year-old Joe Paterno is not a target in the ongoing grand jury probe of Jerry Sandusky’s sex abuse allegations, speculation of Paterno’s ouster has already begun.  Just last month, Paterno became the winningest coach in Division I college football history.  He’s been leading the renowned Penn State football program for 46 years.

Attorney General Speaks Out in Sandusky Sex Abuse Scandal

Jerry Sandusky

Jerry Sandusky

The allegations against 67-year-old Jerry Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator at Penn State, span roughly a decade from the late 1990s through 2009.  The 23-page grand jury presentment goes into graphic detail of the alleged sexual assaults of young boys, both while Sandusky was coaching and after his retirement.  Attorney General Linda Kelly says they’ve identified six of the eight young victims discussed in the presentment, all of whom Sandusky met through his involvement in The Second Mile, a charity he founded in 1977.

Equally significant to the sexual assault charges Sandusky faces, Kelly says, are the alleged roles of two school administrators charged with perjury and failure to report.  “Their inaction likely allowed a child predator to continue to victimize children for many many years,” Kelly says. 

Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Shultz each face one count of perjury and one count of failure to report.

“This is not a case about football, it’s not a case about universities,” says State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, “It’s a case about children who have had their innocence stolen from them, and a culture that did nothing to stop it.” 


Administrators Arraigned:

Tim Curley

Tim Curley

While Sandusky will be prosecuted in Centre County, where the alleged assaults took place, Curley and Shultz will be prosecuted in Dauphin County, where the alleged perjury took place.  Both were arraigned in a suburban Harrisburg magistrate’s office Monday afternoon. 

Curley’s lawyer, Caroline Roberto, proclaimed her client innocent and says they will vigorously fight the charges in court.  She calls perjury prosecutors’ charge of last resort.  “They charge it when they can’t prove the person did anything wrong.”  Roberto calls the duty to report charge a summary offense, similar to a speeding ticket.  Under the law, Roberto says the duty to report didn’t even apply to the situation at Penn State. 

Gary Shultz

Gary Shultz

The Attorney General’s office disagrees.  “Given the circumstances here, with information that was provided to top administrators about a sexual assault in the locker room, on the Penn State campus, we feel very confident that those administrators are responsible under the law,” says spokesman Nils Frederiksen. 


Paterno Not a Target:

Asked about coach Joe Paterno’s grand jury testimony, Attorney General Linda Kelly says the 84-year-old coach has been cooperative and is not a target at this point.  The grand jury report indicates that a grad student who witnessed a sexual assault in 2002 called Paterno to share what he had seen.  “We believe that under the statute he had an obligation to report it to school administrators, and he did that,” Kelly says of Paterno’s involvement.

In a statement, Paterno says he’s shocked and saddened by the allegations contained in the grand jury report.  “I understand that people are upset and angry, but let’s be fair and let the legal process unfold,” the statement reads.  “In the meantime, I would ask all Penn Staters to continue to trust in what that name represents, continue to pursue their lives every day with high ideals and not let these events shake their beliefs nor who they are.” 

Attorney Genral Linda Kelly, Jerry Sandusky

The media gathered en masse at Attorney General Linda Kelly's capitol news conference.