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Gerald Arthur "Jerry" Sandusky (born January 26, 1944) is a retired American football coach and convicted serial child molester. Sandusky served as an assistant coach for his entire career, mostly at Pennsylvania State University under Joe Paterno (from 1969 to 1999). He received Assistant Coach of the Year awards in 1986 and 1999. Sandusky authored several books related to his football coaching experiences.
In 1977, Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a non-profit charity serving Pennsylvania underprivileged and at-risk youth. After Sandusky retired as assistant coach at Penn State, he continued working with The Second Mile at Penn State; even maintaining an office at Penn State until 2011.
In 2011, following a two-year grand jury investigation, Sandusky was arrested and charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period. He met his victims through The Second Mile, who were children participating in the organization, and several of them testified against Sandusky in his sexual abuse trial. Four of the charges were subsequently dropped. On June 22, 2012, Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of the 48 remaining charges. Sandusky was sentenced on October 9, 2012 to 30 to 60 years in prison. On October 18, 2012, Sandusky's lawyers appealed his conviction in Centre County Court in Pennsylvania. They claim that they did not have enough time to prepare for their client's case. On October 31, 2012, Sandusky was moved to Pennsylvania's SCI Greene "supermax" prison to serve his sentence. On January 30, 2013, Pennsylvania Judge John Cleland denied Sandusky's request for a new trial. Since his arrest and conviction, more allegations dating back to the 1970s have come to light.
Sexual assault scandal
An investigation was initiated by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office into sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky in 2008. The charges were initiated at Central Mountain High School, where a student made allegations of abuse against Sandusky. The investigation reached a new level of urgency when it became apparent that the allegations were not an isolated set of incidents, but that Sandusky had a strategy to abuse vulnerable boys. Through his Second Mile organization, Sandusky would first approach potential victims, typically boys without a father living at home, when they were 8–12 years old; subsequently, Sandusky employed classic child grooming strategies such as offering trips to football games or bestowing gifts, which would lead to incremental touching. This form of manipulation is generally the modus operandi of pedophiles as a ploy to build trust while invading personal boundaries — all part of instilling confusion, leading up to and part of the sexual abuse. Eventually, Sandusky often initiated overtly sexual behavior in the locker room showers. "The testimony of one victim, who said he was forced to play with Sandusky's testicles and erect penis when he was 8 to 10 years old, particularly outraged investigators. 'The poor kid was too young to even understand what an erect penis means,' one said." Sandusky denied inappropriately touching young boys, although he admitted to showering with them as well as "horsing around with kids" by hugging them and touching their legs.
On November 4, 2011, a grand jury that had been convened in September 2009, or earlier, indicted Sandusky on 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys. The indictment came after a three-year investigation that explored allegations of Sandusky having inappropriate contact with an underage boy over the course of four years, beginning when the boy was ten years old. The boy's parents reported the incident to police in 2009. The grand jury identified eight boys who had been singled out for sexual advances or sexual assaults by Sandusky, taking place from 1994 through 2009. At least 20 of the incidents allegedly took place while Sandusky was still employed at Penn State.
According to the first indictment, in 2002 assistant coach Mike McQueary, then a Penn State graduate assistant, said he walked in on Sandusky anally raping a ten-year-old boy. The next day, McQueary reported the incident to head coach Joe Paterno. (Later while testifying during the Sandusky trial, McQueary spoke about what he had relayed to Paterno: "I told him and I want to make sure I'm clear. I made sure he knew it was sexual and wrong. There was no doubt.") Paterno told McQueary at the time, "You did what you had to do. It is my job now to figure out what we want to do."
At the Preliminary Hearing for Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, McQueary testified that Paterno was "shocked and saddened, kind of slumped back on his chair." He said that Paterno told him: "'I'm sorry you had to see that. It's terrible.' And he said, 'I need to think and tell some people about what you saw and I'll let you know what ... what we'll do next.'" Paterno then informed Penn State athletic director Tim Curley. At the Preliminary Hearing, McQueary also testified that he "believed" Sandusky was having "some type of intercourse" with the boy. He said that this was based on "the positioning" of Sandusky and the boy, but that he never saw "insertion" or "penetration" and is not "100 percent sure" that intercourse was occurring.
Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz (who oversaw the Penn State police department) called McQueary to a meeting a week and a half later. In McQueary's testimony he stated that during the meeting he relayed in "graphic detail" what he had witnessed in the locker-room showers at the Lasch Building. At the Preliminary Hearing of Curley and Schultz, McQueary testified that he would have given Curley and Schultz a "rough idea" of the body positions of the individuals in the shower, and would have described the activity as "extremely sexual and I thought some kind of intercourse was going on."
The indictment accused Curley and Schultz not only of failing to tell the police, but also of falsely telling the grand jury that McQueary never informed them of the alleged sexual activity.
On November 5, 2011, Sandusky was arrested and charged with seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, eight counts of corruption of minors, eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, seven counts of indecent assault, and other offenses.
The prosecution charged Curley and Schultz with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse by Sandusky.
On November 6, 2011, Penn State banned Sandusky from campus. His bail conditions did not include restrictions on his travel.
In December 2011, Sandusky was charged with an additional 12 counts of sexual crimes against children. The grand jury's second presentment charged Sandusky with an additional count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and two additional counts of unlawful contact with a minor. The additional victims, known only as "Victim 9" and "Victim 10," were participants in Sandusky's youth program and were between the ages of 10 and 12 at the time of the sexual assaults.
On December 7, 2011, Sandusky was arrested for a second time based on the additional sexual abuse charges. Sandusky was released on $250,000 bail and placed on monitored house arrest while he awaited trial. Sandusky chose to waive his preliminary hearing that took place in mid-December.