Penn State University President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno were issued their walking papers Wednesday night in the midst of the child sex-abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
“We felt we need to restore trust in the university.”—John Surma, vice president, board of trustees
According to prosecutors, on March 1, 2002, graduate student Mike McQueary told Paterno that he’d witnessed Sandusky performing anal intercourse on a 10-year-old boy in the locker room showers at the Lasch Football Building on campus.
Paterno took McQueary’s account to Athletic Director Tim Curley but didn’t report the allegations to police. The incident disappeared under the rug until McQueary testified before a Grand Jury in December 2010.
Based on a grand jury report, AP has constructed a timeline of Sandusky’s alleged serial sex abuse of young boys:
1977 – Jerry Sandusky founds The Second Mile. It begins as a group foster home dedicated to helping troubled boys and grows into a charity dedicated to helping children with absent or dysfunctional families.
1994 – Boy known as Victim 7 in the report meets Sandusky through The Second Mile program at about the age of 10.
1994-95 – Boy known as Victim 6 meets Sandusky at a Second Mile picnic at Spring Creek Park when he is 7 or 8 years old.
1995-96 – Boy known as Victim 5, meets Sandusky through The Second Mile when he is 7 or 8, in second or third grade.
1996-97 – Boy known as Victim 4, at the age of 12 or 13, meets Sandusky while he is in his second year participating in The Second Mile program.
1996-98 – Victim 5 is taken to the locker rooms and showers at Penn State by Sandusky when he is 8 to 10 years old.
Jan. 1, 1998 – Victim 4 is listed, along with Sandusky’s wife, as a member of Sandusky’s family party for the 1998 Outback Bowl.
1998 – Victim 6 is taken into the locker rooms and showers when he is 11 years old. When Victim 6 is dropped off at home, his hair is wet from showering with Sandusky. His mother reports the incident to the university police, who investigate.
Detective Ronald Schreffler testifies that he and State College Police Department Detective Ralph Ralston, with the consent of the mother of Victim 6, eavesdrop on two conversations the mother of Victim 6 has with Sandusky. Sandusky says he has showered with other boys and Victim 6′s mother tries to make Sandusky promise never to shower with a boy again but he will not. At the end of the second conversation, after Sandusky is told he cannot see Victim 6 anymore, Schreffler testifies Sandusky says, “I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.”
Jerry Lauro, an investigator with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, testifies he and Schreffler interviewed Sandusky, and that Sandusky admits showering naked with Victim 6, admits to hugging Victim 6 while in the shower and admits that it was wrong.
The case is closed after then-Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar decides there will be no criminal charge.
June 1999 – Sandusky retires from Penn State but still holds emeritus status.
Dec. 28, 1999 – Victim 4 is listed, along with Sandusky’s wife, as a member of Sandusky’s family party for the 1999 Alamo Bowl.
Summer 2000 – Boy known as Victim 3 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile when he is between seventh and eighth grade.
Fall 2000 – A janitor named James Calhoun observes Sandusky in the showers of the Lasch Football Building with a young boy, known as Victim 8, pinned up against the wall, performing oral sex on the boy. He tells other janitorial staff immediately. Fellow Office of Physical Plant employee Ronald Petrosky cleans the showers at Lasch and sees Sandusky and the boy, who he describes as being between the ages of 11 and 13.
Calhoun tells other physical plant employees what he saw, including Jay Witherite, his immediate supervisor. Witherite tells him to whom he should report the incident. Calhoun was a temporary employee and never makes a report. Victim 8′s identity is unknown.
March 1, 2002 – A Penn State graduate assistant enters the locker room at the Lasch Football Building. In the showers, he sees a naked boy, known as Victim 2, whose age he estimates to be 10 years old, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant tells his father immediately.
March 2, 2002 – In the morning, the graduate assistant calls Coach Joe Paterno and goes to Paterno’s home, where he reports what he has seen.
March 3, 2002 – Paterno calls Tim Curley, Penn State Athletic Director to his home the next day and reports a version of what the grad assistant had said.
March 2002 – Later in the month the graduate assistant is called to a meeting with Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz. The grad assistant reports what he has seen and Curley and Schultz say they will look into it.
March 27, 2002 (approximate) – The graduate assistant hears from Curley. He is told that Sandusky’s locker room keys are taken away and that the incident has been reported to The Second Mile. The graduate assistant is never questioned by university police and no other entity conducts an investigation until the graduate assistant testifies in Grand Jury in December 2010.
2005-2006 – Boy known as Victim 1 says that meets Sandusky through The Second Mile at age 11 or 12.
Spring 2007 – During the 2007 track season, Sandusky begins spending time with Victim 1 weekly, having him stay overnight at his residence in College Township, Pa.
Spring 2008 – Termination of contact with Victim 1 occurs when he is a freshman in a Clinton County high school. After the boy’s mother calls the school to report sexual assault, Sandusky is barred from the school district attended by Victim 1 from that day forward and the matter is reported to authorities as mandated by law.
Early 2009 – An investigation by the Pennsylvania attorney general begins when a Clinton County, Pa. teen boy tells authorities that Sandusky has inappropriately touched him several times over a four-year period.
September 2010 – Sandusky retires from day-to-day involvement with The Second Mile, saying he wants to spend more time with family and handle personal matters.
Nov. 5, 2011 – Sandusky is arrested and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts.
Nov. 7, 2011 – Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly says Paterno is not a target of the investigation into how the school handled the accusations. But she refuses to say the same for university President Graham Spanier. Curley and Schultz, who have stepped down from their positions, surrender on charges that they failed to alert police to complaints against Sandusky.
Nov. 8, 2011 – Possible ninth victim of Sandusky contacts state police
Surma said the past few days have been terrible for the university, but added it’s “nothing compared to the physical and psychological suffering that allegedly took place.”
“It is one of the great sorrows of my life. … I wish I had done more.”—Joe Paterno
Yeah Joe, and so do those boys … so do those boys.
For more on the story, see Paterno Ousted at Penn State and Penn St. trustees fire Joe Paterno, school president.
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