‘Victim 1′ ignited Sandusky case – USATODAY.com

HARRISBURG, Pa – For this boy, it started — as it allegedly did with most victims before him — with a barrage of gifts from Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, is charged with sexually abusing eight young men.

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General via Commonwealth Media Services, via AP

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, is charged with sexually abusing eight young men.

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General via Commonwealth Media Services, via AP

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, is charged with sexually abusing eight young men.

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According to a state grand jury’s report outlining alleged sexual abuses by Sandusky, there were trips to professional and college football games, a computer, clothes and cash. And then, the report says, Sandusky went from mentor to sexual predator, often attacking the boy in the basement bedroom of the coach’s home or a school workout room long after coaches and other officials had gone.

In the cloaked parlance of the grand jury’s report, the boy — who was at least 11 at the beginning of the attacks that would span nearly four years ending in 2009 — is known only as “Victim 1.”

But Victim 1 was not actually Sandusky’s first alleged victim. In the report, the boy is Victim 1 for a different reason: He spoke up, went to the police, and triggered the sex abuse investigation of Sandusky that has resulted in the removal of top Penn State officials and legendary football coach Joe Paterno.

The boy showed “courage” that others — including adults in positions of power at the university — did not in dealing with Sandusky, a revered former coach who still had access to campus facilities, said Michael Gillum, the victim’s psychologist.

“We simply did what you are supposed to do,” Gillum said in an interview with USA TODAY. “Had this individual not come forward, this investigation may not have happened. Who knows how many people he saved from abuse.

“He’s a hero. That is the truth.”

The adults who could have done more, Gillum suggests, include Paterno, who according to the grand jury report was told by a graduate assistant in 2002 that Sandusky had assaulted a different young boy in the showers of Penn State’s football facility.

Paterno reported the incident to his bosses but did not notify police.

Sandusky — who met the boys through The Second Mile, a foundation he started in 1977 to help at-risk youths — now is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years.

Former PSU athletics director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who was the school’s senior vice president for business and finance, face perjury charges after telling grand jurors that the assistant’s report to them about the 2002 incident did not mention sexual activity.

Late Wednesday night, the scandal’s powerful aftershocks claimed the university’s two most influential figures. The school’s board of trustees voted to remove President Graham Spanier and Paterno, who presided over the Penn State program for nearly 50 years.

The scandal has raised questions over whether Penn State officials put the interests of the university and its celebrated football program over those of children who were victims of sexual abuse.

In his last hours as coach, Paterno lamented, “I wish I had done more.”

A series of missed opportunities

Sandusky, 67, is charged with 40 counts of abuse while he was a high-profile assistant to Paterno and during his work with The Second Mile. If convicted, he would face a maximum punishment of life in prison.

Sandusky allegations timeline

A chronological look at the case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, based on a grand jury report in Pennsylvania state court. He has been charged with 40 criminal counts accusing him of serial sex abuse of minors.

1977: 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: The boy known as “Victim 7″ in the report meets Sandusky through The Second Mile program at about age 10.

1994-95: The boy known as “Victim 6″ meets Sandusky at a Second Mile picnic at Spring Creek Park when he is 7 or 8.

1995-96: The boy known as “Victim 5″ meets Sandusky via Second Mile when he is 7 or 8.

1996-97: The boy known as “Victim 4″ meets Sandusky when he is 12 or 13 in his second year participating in The Second Mile.

1996-98: Victim 5 is taken to the locker rooms and showers at Penn State by Sandusky when he is 8 to 10.

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. When he is brought home, his hair is wet from showering with Sandusky. His mother reports the incident to university police, who investigate. 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.

Summer 2000: The boy known as “Victim 3″ meets Sandusky through The Second Mile when he is in seventh or eighth grade.

Fall 2000: A janitor named James Calhoun says he 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 janitors immediately. Calhoun, a temporary employee, never makes a report. Victim 8’s identity is unknown.

March 1, 2002: A graduate assistant (this week identified as current Penn State receivers coach Mike McQueary) sees a naked boy, “Victim 2,” whose age he estimates at 10, being sexually assaulted by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant tells his father immediately.

March 2, 2002: McQueary reports what he has seen to Joe Paterno.

March 3, 2002: Paterno calls Tim Curley, Penn State’s athletics director, to his home 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 Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business. The graduate assistant reports what he has seen, and Curley and Schultz say they will look into it.

About March 27, 2002: The graduate assistant hears from Curley. He is told Sandusky’s locker room keys are taken away and 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 to the grand jury in December 2010.

2005-06: The boy known as “Victim 1″ meets Sandusky via Second Mile at age 11 or 12.

Spring 2007: Sandusky begins spending time with Victim 1 weekly, having him stay overnight at his residence in College Township, Pa.

Early 2009: An investigation by the state attorney general begins when a Clinton County teenage boy tells authorities Sandusky inappropriately touched him several times in a four-year period.

September 2010: Sandusky retires from day-to-day involvement with The Second Mile.

Saturday: Sandusky is arrested and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts. Monday: Curley and Schultz, who have stepped down from their positions, surrender on charges that they failed to alert police to complaints against Sandusky and committed perjury in their testimony before the grand jury.

Wednesday: The school’s board of trustees announces the removal of Spanier and Paterno, effective immediately.

Curley and Schultz each face one count of felony perjury and a misdemeanor charge of failing to report allegations of abuse to police after they were informed of the 2002 incident.

All three men have denied the allegations.

Joseph Amendola, the attorney for Sandusky, told CNN his client is innocent of the sex abuse charges against him. He said Sandusky is frustrated that he can’t defend himself publicly and saddened that the scandal has brought down Paterno. Amendola said he is building his case to defend Sandusky, finding and interviewing witnesses.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said Paterno — who informed Curley of the 2002 incident after the coach learned of it from Michael McQueary, the graduate assistant — fulfilled his legal reporting obligation and is not a target of the continuing state grand jury investigation.

Yet the 23-page grand jury report is littered with instances in which university officials and other authorities failed to act, effectively allowing the list of victims to grow.

“Nothing stopped,” Pennsylvania Sate Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said this week.

In 1998, the mother of a young boy designated by the grand jury as “Victim 6″ became suspicious when her son and Sandusky showed up at her home with wet hair. The boy, according to the grand jury report, acknowledged that he had showered with Sandusky, prompting the mother to call Penn State University police.

In a later conversation with Sandusky — with two university detectives listening in — the coach allegedly admitted hugging the boy while both were naked in the shower, the grand jury reported. “I was wrong,” Sandusky allegedly told the mother. “I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.”

The case was referred to then-Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar, who declined to prosecute the case in 1998, the grand jury found.

Gricar’s decision has not been explained. He has been missing since 2005 and has since been declared dead after authorities recovered his abandoned car and the prosecutor’s computer, absent its hard drive.

State police spokesman Sgt. Anthony Manetta said there is no apparent link between the prosecutor’s disappearance and the Sandusky case.

Another potential missed opportunity to expose Sandusky, according to the grand jury, occurred in 2000, when a janitor allegedly witnessed Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in the Penn State locker room showers.

The emotionally shaken janitor, who described the incident to co-workers that night, did not report the incident to authorities because he and others feared losing their jobs, the report says.

The janitor who saw the incident now suffers from dementia and was declared incompetent to testify before the grand jury.

One of his former co-workers, however, testified that the witness told him on the night the alleged incident, “I just witnessed something in there I’ll never forget.”

The 2002 incident at the heart of the perjury cases against Curley and Schultz involved a 10-year-old boy designated as “Victim 2.”

McQueary, now an assistant football coach, allegedly saw the child being raped in the shower by Sandusky. He reported the incident the next day to Paterno, who relayed information to Curley. The encounter was never reported to police.

“This is not a case about football,” Noonan said when the charges were announced last week. “It’s a case about children who have had their innocence stolen from them and the culture that did nothing to stop it.”

A mother’s frustration

Gillum, who has been counseling Victim 1, said the boy responsible for helping to launch the current investigation also was nearly thwarted from exposing Sandusky as an alleged sexual predator. The psychologist, who was prohibited by his counselor relationship with the boy and the confines of the ongoing investigation from discussing details that might identify the boy, said the victim’s mother became worried when her son began acting strangely in 2009, after a long association with Sandusky.

That association began as early as 2005, according to the grand jury report, when the boy met Sandusky through the coach’s charity. Their encounters progressed from outings to sleep-overs at Sandusky’s home, where the coach allegedly began “visiting” the boy in the basement bedroom to massage and “crack his back,” the report said.

The activities led to more sexually explicit encounters. In 2007 and 2008, the victim testified, Sandusky allegedly performed oral sex on him more than 20 times, the grand jury report says.

“Victim 1 did not want to engage in sexual conduct with Sandusky and knew it was wrong,” the grand jury report stated, adding that the boy asked his mother to tell Sandusky that he was not home when the coach called for the boy. From January 2008 to July 2009, Sandusky allegedly placed 118 calls to the boy’s home phone.

Increasingly worried about the boy’s behavior, including his reaction to the phone calls from Sandusky, Gillum said the victim’s mother asked school officials to help identify the problem. Gillum said the boy eventually told a school official that “there was an issue” with Sandusky, although the boy declined to elaborate.

Gillum said a school official relayed the information to the boy’s mother in a meeting.

The official, who Gillum declined to identify, then reminded the mother of Sandusky’s solid reputation in the community. The psychologist said the official characterized Sandusky as having “a heart of gold.”

The mother told the psychologist that the official advised her to think about the situation for a few days before taking any action.

“She was angry,” Gillum said. “She was upset about that and felt that she was being dissuaded” from taking action. The mother did not respond to a request for an interview.

Shortly after the contact with the school, the mother reported her concerns to the Clinton County (Pa.) Children and Youth Services, a local government agency where Gillum also works as a psychologist. “When an individual is abused over a long period of time, it is agony for them,” the psychologist said, generally characterizing the victim’s state of mind at the time. Gillum declined to elaborate on a timeline of his discussions with the victim, whose current age was estimated by the grand jury as 16 to 18.

In discussions with the victim, Gillum said, he was able to gather enough information to assemble a report that he referred to state youth authorities and the state police. “The investigation has been very difficult for the victim,” Gillum said. “There is lots of anxiety and concern about being identified and associated with the abuse.

“No one wants to be a part of anything like this,” he said. “But had it not been for this individual, my guess is that none of this (criminal investigation) would have happened.”


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