When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail. – Pearl S. Buck
This is Part II of the history of Jerry Sandusky’s assaults on boys. Read Part I here. Again, my purpose is to highlight how Penn State University went to great lengths to cover-up the crimes in order to protect their brand rather than do the right thing and protect boys from being sexually assaulted. I want to focus on how the PSU, the institution, perpetuated the crimes and enabled Jerry Sandusky in his pursuit of raping boys. In this post, I will be focusing on the assaults that occurred in the 2000s.
Before I start, I want to share a resource for boys and men who have been sexually assaulted. It’s called 1in6.org, and it’s called that for a reason. 1 in 6 men have been sexually assaulted, and we don’t talk about it. Women who have been sexually assaulted have resources and support and can at least talk about it with some people. It’s still a terrible, difficult thing For men, there are different issues of shame and isolation and simply not having the resources. That’s why we have to talk about it and keep talking about it, screaming about it, really, even if people tell us to shut the fuck up. That is part of the reason I’m writing about the PSU outrage – we can’t afford to let this be a two-day wonder.
Warning : I will be excerpting extensively from the Grand Jury Report, which is pretty graphic and disturbing. Normally, I would not do this, but I can’t write about the history of the assaults without, well, talking about them. And, again, I want to clearly name what Sandusky did without flinching. We have to look at evil in order to prevent it from happening again.
Surprise, surprise, Jerry Sandusky, still showering with boys – and still raping them.
We pick up Sandusky’s history the summer of 2000 with the story of Victim 3. Remember, this is after Sandusky retired in 1999. After he was investigated for prior sexual assaults. Yet, he retained emeritus status, which meant he had full access to the facilities on the PSU campus.
Victim 3′s story follows the same trajectory as the other victims. He met Sandusky in his second year at The Second Mile program when he, the boy, was between seventh and eighth grade (age 12 – 13). Sandusky invited him to dinner, to PSU football games, to work out on campus, etc. Of course, after they worked out, Sandusky would insist they showered. Victim 3 would pick a shower away from Sandusky, and Sandusky guilted Victim 3 to move closer, and Sandusky would rub his shoulders, wash his back, and hug him from both front and back. The boy remembered that on at least one occasion, Sandusky had an erection as he hugged the boy from behind. Victim 3 also stayed over at Sandusky’s house in the basement where Sandusky would blow on his stomach, rub his shoulder, and try to tickle him. Twice, Sandusky touched Victim 3′s genitals through his athletic shorts, and Victim 3 would roll over to escape Sandusky’s touch.
In the fall of the same year, Sandusky had moved on to Victim 8.
In the fall of 2000, a janitor named James “Jim” Calhoun (“Jim”) observed Sandusky in the showers of the Lasch Building with a young boy pinned up against the wall. He immediately made known to other janitorial staff what he had just witnessed.
One of these people was a fellow Office of Physical Plant worker, Ronald Petrosky. His duties was to clean the showers. On that night, he heard the shower running in the assistant coaches’ shower room. He could see two pairs of feet and waited for the people to leave so he could clean it. Later, he saw Sandusky and a boy emerge from the locker room with gym bags and wet hair. Petrosky described the boy as between 11 and 13. He acknowledged them, and they acknowledged him. Sandusky took the boy’s hand and walked out of the building.
As he began cleaning the shower, Jim approached him, upset and crying.
Jim reported that he had seen Sandusky, whose name was not known to him, holding the boy up against the wall and licking on him. Jim said he had “fought in the [Korean] war…seen people with their guts blowed out, their arms dismembered….I just witnessed something in there I’ll never forget.” And he described Sandusky performing oral sex on the boy.
After much discussion with his fellow workers, Jim went to his immediate supervisor, Jay Witherite, to tell him what he had seen. Jim was still upset, and Witherite tried to calm him down. Witherite then told Jim to whom he should report the incident if he so chose.
Three times that night, Sandusky’s car was spotted by the janitorial crew. Jim never reported the incident, and he left after eight months. To me, it was clear that Sandusky was trying to intimidate the janitorial crew into not reporting what they saw, and it apparently worked. It’s tempting to say why didn’t Witherite report it, hell, I will say it. He could have reported it, but didn’t. Yet another cog in the machine of fail. Victim 8′s identity is not known, and Jim is currently suffering dementia and cannot testify.
Deeper into the muck; it only gets uglier and uglier from here on out.
Now, we get to the case that is the most well-known, in part because it involves an eyewitness who was a 28-year-old graduate assistant at the time and is now the wide receiver coach and recruitment coordinator at PSU: Mike McQueary. Initially, he was going to be coaching the game tomorrow. Then, he wasn’t for his own safety as apparently, he’s been receiving death threats. Per Norbrook in the comments of my last post, he is now on administrative leave.
On March 1, 2002, McQueary went into the Lasch Building (locker room) to put a pair of sneakers in his locker and to get some recruiting tapes. It was about 9:30 p.m., and he was surprised to see there were lights on and a running shower.
He then heard rhythmic, slapping sounds. He believed the sounds to be those of sexual activity. As the graduate assistant put his sneakers in his locker, he looked into the shower. He saw a naked boy, Victim 2, whose age he estimated to be 10 years old, with his hands up against the wall, being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky. The graduate assistant was shocked but noticed that both Victim 2 and Sandusky saw him. The graduate assistant left immediately, distraught.
McQueary went to his office and called his father to tell him what he saw. His father told him to leave the building and to go to his (the father’s) house. McQueary did.
I would like to interject here. I have seen people on the internet excoriate McQueary for leaving the scene, saying, “How could he do something like that?” They wondered why he didn’t beat the shit out of Sandusky, grab the kid and get him out of there, or at least call the police. Ideally, McQueary would have done any or all of the above. However, I have no idea what I would have done in the situation. I would like to believe I would have gotten the kid out of there, but I may have fled the crime scene as McQueary did. I’m not condoning his behavior, mind you. I just don’t think it’s an easy call to make. I will expand more on that in a bit.
McQueary drove to his father’s house, and they agreed that he would tell Joe Paterno, the head coach. McQueary called Paterno the next morning, a Saturday, and then went to Paterno’s house to report it. Paterno testified that he received the report from an upset McQueary. In turn, Paterno didn’t call his purported-immediate supervisor, Tim Curley, PSU Athletic Director (in reality, JoePa is king of the PSU football program) to his house until the next day. Paterno told Curley that McQueary “had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building* showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy.”
I would like to back up to McQueary. This is the part where I can point my finger at him. Again, I can somewhat understand freaking the fuck out at the sight of someone you know and respect anally raping a young boy. What I cannot understand is how once McQueary was out of there, he didn’t immediately call the police. He had a moral obligation to do what he could to save that boy and to make sure that Sandusky never saw the light of day again. Instead, McQueary did nothing. He continued to interact with Sandusky after the rape, and in 2006, at a football camp, he was witnessed shaking Sandusky’s hand and talking with him. As the man who witnessed it said:
How can you talk to that guy?…If you really saw him do it, how could you be around him? How could [you] even work for these people? You know how wrong it was and who the hell knows what Sandusky may have gotten away with?…It’s sick.
The PSU cover-up begins in earnest as the football program administrators try to protect their brand.
A week and a half after Paterno reported to Curley, McQueary was called into a meeting with Curley and Gary Schultz, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business. Why the latter had to be present, I don’t know, but so be it.
I would like to point out that PSU was not moving with any speed and that this pattern continued throughout the case. It is incredible to me that it took a week and a half for Curley to decide what to do after receiving the information, and this was after Paterno waited a day to report to him and McQueary had waited a day before reporting to Paterno! To me, that looks like heel dragging and trying to figure out in advance the best way to spin the situation. I am not going to get into the legal aspect of reporting because that’s not my forte. I do know that Pennsylvania has relatively lax reporting laws and that people are clamoring for them to be tightened. A bit locking the barn after the horses escape if you ask me, but better late than never, I guess.
McQueary testified that he had told Curley and Schultz that he had:
witnessed what he believed to be Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the Lasch Building. Curley and Schultz assured the graduate assistant that they would look into it and determine what further action they would take. Paterno was not present for this meeting.
Again, let me interject. Paterno got fired this week and some PSU students rioted. I will write more about that in a future post. For me, I shed no tears for Paterno getting the boot. He was told that his right-hand man raped little boys, and he did the bare minimum a human being is required to do and still be considered human and not a whit more. Fuck Paterno and his legacy – it now includes enabling a child rapist to RAPE CHILDREN on the PSU campus!
Back to the spin game. A couple of weeks later, Curley gets back to McQueary. For those counting at home, this takes us up to nearly a month after the rape. Un-fucking-believable. And, what is going to happen? Are the police going to get involved? Is Sandusky going to be taken away in handcuffs and investigated? That would be no. Sandusky’s keys were taken away and ‘the incident’ was reported to The Second Mile. McQueary wasn’t questioned by the University Police or anyone else until the Grand Jury in 2010.
Excuse me, what the fuck? Did I miss something? Curley is informed that Sandusky is seen RAPING A YOUNG BOY, and the punishment is to take away Sandusky’s keys? In what world would that be considered anything close to an appropriate sentence for such a heinous crime?
But, here you see, is when the Wurlitzer starts spinning.
Curley testified that the graduate assistant reported to them ‘inappropriate contact’ or activity that made him ‘uncomfortable’ occurred in the Lasch Building shower in March 2002. Curley specifically denied that the graduate assistant reported anal sex or anything of a sexual nature whatsoever and termed the conduct as merely ‘horsing around’. When asked whether the graduate assistant had reported ‘sexual content’ ‘of any kind’ by Sandusky, Curley answered, “No” twice. When asked if the graduate assistant had reported ‘anal sex between Jerry Sandusky and this child,’ Curley replied, “Absolutely not.”
Just horsing around. In the shower. With a young boy. Nothing sexual. At all. Inappropriate, yes. Uncomfortable-making, sure. But, you know, nothing sexual or anything like that. The contradictions and bullshit within that one paragraph are enough to make my head spin, and it only gets worse.
This is getting long, and the scrambling to cover their asses by the administration is just beginning, so I’m going to wrap this up and rest up before I tackle part three.
*I am really beginning to loathe the sight of the words, “Lasch Building”.