How did Jerry Sandusky get away with his conspicuous deviant behavior all of these years when so many people in authority knew about it?
A Pennsylvania jury found the former high profile assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) guilty of forty-five charges of sexual abuse on June 20, 2012. The jury deliberated only twenty hours to reach the verdict. This answered the most fundamental question about Sandusky's behavior: Was he a child molester? Yes, beyond a reasonable doubt responded the jurors with their guilty verdict.
What did they know and when did they know it?
June, 1998: Sandusky was the subject of an investigation by Center County district attorney, the late Ray Gricar. (Gricar disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 2005.) Sandusky was accused of pursuing a relationship with Victim 6, a recipient of services from Sandusky's Second Mile Foundation for troubled and at risk youth. After three years of football games and other activities with the victim, Sandusky took the eleven year old boy to PSU's locker for a shower during which the boy was groped and grabbed throughout.
Victim 6's mother reported concerns about the erotic contact to authorities. The investigation amounted to nothing despite more than enough evidence to continue investigating.
After June, 1998 we know that the Centre County district attorney's office, police investigators, and those interviewed by authorities all knew about Sandusky's alleged (now proven) behavior.
Fall 2000: A night shift janitor working in the Lasch Building at PSU saw something more shocking than anything he'd seen during his Korean War combat experiences. Here's what we know from the grand jury that indicted Sandusky regarding Victim 8. Sandusky was "holding the boy up against the [shower] wall licking him." The janitor reported the incident to his supervisor. The supervisor claims that he made no further report.
March 2001: Pennsylvania State University (PSU) assistant football coach Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky engaging in explicit sexual activity with a boy of ten (or so) in the PSU locker room showers. McQueary, a graduate assistant at the time, told the grand jury that he saw Sandusky with Victim 2, "a naked boy, whose age he estimated to be ten-years old, with his hands held up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky."
McQueary promptly reported the incident to Joe Paterno, who in turn, informed his superior, athletic director Tim Curley. About ten days later, McQueary attended a meeting with Curley, senior vice president for finance Gary Schulz, and Paterno. McQueary testified that he reported that Sandusky committed anal rape on a boy in the athletic department showers. Curley and Schulz denied ever hearing this. The grand jury that indicted Sandusky noted that "portions of the testimony of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are not credible" and that both of them made "materially false statements" during previous grand jury hearings.
Curley reported the incident to clinical psychologist, Jack Raykovitz, PhD, the head of Sandusky's Second Mile Foundation for troubled youth. Curley also reported the incident to then PSU president, Graham Spanier. Curley said nothing about anal rape according to Spanier.
The PSU Police function was under vice president Gary Schultz. He claimed that he didn't report McQueary's information to the campus police.
No one involved called the local police. All involved (with the exception of McQueary) are mandatory reporters of child abuse in Pennsylvania. There were no reports to authorities about suspected sexual abuse. According to Spanier, this was just Sandusky "horsing around" with a ten-year old boy in the showers.
The circle of knowledge about Sandusky's deviant behavior was particularly broad for the March 2001 incident. From graduate assistant through legendary coach Paterno right up to the high profile president of the university, many knew that McQueary had seen Sandusky performing a violent sexual act on a ten or eleven-year old in the football team showers.
With so many powerful people knowing so much, how could Sandusky get away with it?
Police, DA's, PSU executives, and many more had heard about Sandusky's behavior since at least 1998. They knew that Sandusky had male children from his foundation with him at public events. Some of them knew that he took them places locally. They knew he seemed shameless doing so.