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Former Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky Charged With Child Rape

7 Nov

For nearly 30 years, Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky was one of the most respected assistant coaches in college football. Now, if the charges against him are true, Sandusky used that position of power to gain access to and sexually abuse at least eight young boys over the last two decades.

Who is Jerry Sandusky? From 1963 to 1965, Sandusky played under legendary coach Joe Paterno as a defensive end. In 1969, he returned to Penn State as an assistant where he worked until his retirement in 1999. Sandusky was considered a fixture in his community. He founded a charity called The Second Mile for at-risk children. It was through his involvement in this charity that he allegedly met his victims.

What are the charges against him? Sandusky faces over forty counts of sex crimes and they are heinous. According to the indictment, which is available in its entirety online, Sandusky abused eight victims over several decades. Among the most sickening charges: Sandusky sexually assaulted a boy in a Penn State shower in 2002 and performed oral sex on another boy. He allegedly showered with other victims and touched them inappropriately. The assault in the shower was witnessed by a graduate assistant, later identified as Mike McQueary.

Why was nothing done? An excellent question and likely the reason two college officials are facing charges. The graduate assistant told head coach Joe Paterno the following day about what he witnessed in the shower. In this meeting, the assistant told Paterno the incident involved “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.” Paterno told athletic director Tim Curley the following day, but took no further actions. Curley and Penn State vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz met with Paterno a week and a half later, but did not think the charges were “serious” and claimed that they didn’t appear to be sexual in nature.  Both Curley and Schultz have been charged with “perjury and failure to report in an investigation into allegations” for not informing authorities about the charges against Sandusky.

Was anything done by Penn State? Apparently, they told Sandusky and his charity that he was no longer permitted to bring children onto campus. Under questioning, Curley admitted this ban was “unenforceable.” According to Deadspin, as late as 2009, “Sandusky was still hosting overnight camps for children as young as 9 at other Penn State schools.”

What does Paterno have to say? Not enough. The coach issued a statement late Sunday night that read, in part, “[my wife] Sue and I have devoted our lives to helping young people reach their potential. The fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling. 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.” Still, scores of people from across the country, have said the scandal will tarnish Paterno’s legacy.

What is Sandusky doing right now? He’s free until his trial. ABC News tried to speak with him, but he declined to comment. Perhaps, most sickening in light of these charges is the fact that Sandusky’s autobiography is entitled “Touched.”

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