Sandusky behaved as if he were immune from punishment for his swaggering displays of deviance. Why else would he tempt the fates with the shower rapes unless he knew that fate wasn't involved; unless he knew that he had enough power to defy the most powerful people at the university, including Coach Joe Paterno?
Jerry Sandusky has molested his last troubled boy. He is going to jail for life. But a larger question remains after Sandusky's conviction. (Image: marsme1551)
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.
When Sandusky got down to the purpose of his grooming, the sexual abuse of boys, his behavior was, at times, flagrant. Twice he was caught and reported for forcing sexual acts on male children in the PSU showers. Was Sandusky out of his mind with this ultra-high risk behavior?
Perhaps, but Sandusky behaved as if he were immune from punishment for his swaggering displays of deviance. Why else would he tempt the fates with the shower rapes unless he knew that fate wasn't involved; unless he knew that he had enough power to defy the most powerful people at the university, including Coach Joe Paterno?
If you know anything about the story of Joe Paterno's reign as one of the greatest coaches of all time, imagine being asked this question prior to this case. What would the coach do if his former star quarter back (McCreary) told him that his longtime assistant coach was having anal sex with a child in the team's showers? Sandusky would have been banished from the university and turned in. He wasn't.
If you are at all familiar with public universities, what would any university president do if he found out that his high profile football assistant coach was caught having anal sex with a child in the team showers? If for no other reason than fiduciary responsibility and concerns about liability, the president would report the incident to child protective services and banish the assistant coach from the university. PSU president Spanier did neither.
All of those powerful PSU officials who heard about the March 2001 incident did nothing. When they were interviewed by police and called before the grand jury, they claimed that McQueary never explicitly mentioned sexual activity. The grand jury and trial juries disagreed.
What power did Sandusky have?
Did he know something so compromising about the university that it got him off the hook?
Did he have friends even more powerful than Paterno, Curly, Schultz, and Spanier?
If so, what favors did they owe Sandusky to enlist their protective services?
Until we know who Sandusky had on his side to allow his flagrant public deviance, we won't know the true story of the Sandusky case.
This article may be reposted with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.
Also see The Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Scandal, the Second Mile Foundation, and Penn State, Michael Collins, November 11, 2011
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