No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expedience. — Theodore Roosevelt
Update: The CEO of The Second Mile for 28 year, Jack Raykovitz has resigned. I mentioned him in part three of my series. He was the man Curley gave ‘the information’ to about Sandusky in 2002.
All right. I’m coming into the homestretch in my series on the history of the cover-up by PSU in the Jerry Sandusky rape case. This is Part IV – and the last part – in the series. You can read Part I here, Part II here, and Part III here. To reiterate, my purpose in writing this series is to focus on the systematic cover-up of the assaults by PSU. I can’t help think but if one of these men had stepped forward at the time, how many children’s lives would not have been wrecked.
Warning: I will be quoting from the Grand Jury report. Normally, I would not do this as it’s graphic and disturbing, but I can’t write about the history without referring to the report. Besides, I think that we need to name what is going on before we can really discuss how we can change the system that strove to cover it up.
In the third part of my series, I focused on the testimony of the PSU administration in concerns to the case of Victim 2. I outlined how man after man did his best to not see what was happening and how any one of these men could have – and should have – gone to the police about Sandusky.
Now, I will sum up the Grand Jury findings which come after the testimony about Victim 2 and I will talk about the last (known) victim, Victim 1 – the reason for the current investigation. He and his mother are heroic because if they hadn’t come forward when they did, who knows how many more boys Sandusky would have assaulted?
I ended Part III with this:
More incredibly, Spanier testified that even in April of 2011, he did not know the identity of the employee. Think about that. He didn’t even bother to find out WHO the perpetrator was – he was that incurious about the whole thing. He also testified that he was never told the conduct was sexual in nature. What. the. fuck. Grown man. Young boy. Naked. In the shower. By definition, that is sexual in nature. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with these men.
Spanier concluded by saying that, no, Curley and Schultz didn’t indicate they were taking the allegations to the cops, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, or any child protection agency. He also testified that he was not aware of the 1998 investigation.
All these men failed in their moral duty to protect vulnerable boys from a sexual predator. All of them had enough information to go to the police, and yet, not one of them did. I find this reprehensible.
The findings of the Grand Jury
The findings of the Grand Jury come after the testimony concerning the second victim, so I will discuss said findings before I discuss Victim 1.
The Grand Jury subpoenaed the Department of Public Welfare and Youth Service’s records and found no report of the 2002 incident, which is in contradiction with Pennsylvania law.
The Grand Jury reiterated that Sandusky was allowed virtually-unlimited access of the PSU facilities, even after the 1998 investigation. He had professor emeritus status, and while he was ordered not to bring children to the PSU facilities after the 1998 investigation, there was no way for this edict to be enforced.
They also found portions of Curley’s testimony and Schultz’s testimony to be not credible.
The Grand Jury found that the sexual assault should have been reported. It cited Pennsylvania’s mandatory reporting statute for suspected child abuse (23 Pa.C.S. §6311, Child Protective Services Law), saying:
…when a staff member reports abuse, pursuant to statute, the person in charge of the school or institution has the responsibility and legal obligation to report or cause such a report to be made by telephone and in writing within 48 hours to the Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. An oral report should have been made to Centre County Children and Youth Services but none was made. Nor was there any attempt to identify Victim 2 or to protect that child or any others from similar conduct, except as related to preventing its re-occurrence on University property. The failure to report is a violation of law which was graded a summary offense in 2002, pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. §63192.
The Grand Jury finds that Tim Curley made a materially false statement under oath in an official proceeding on January 12, 2011, when he testified before the 30th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, relating to the 2002 incident, that he was not told by the graduate assistant that Sandusky was engaged in sexual conduct or anal sex with a boy in the Lasch Building showers.
Furthermore, the Grand Jury find that Gary Schultz made a materially false statement under oath in an official proceeding on January 12, 2011, when he testified before the 30th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, that the allegations made by the graduate assistant were ‘not that serious’ and that he and Curley ‘had no indication that a crime had occurred.’
Curley and Schultz were both charged with perjury and failure to report the allegations. Curley requested a leave of absence so he could fight the charges, whereas Schultz resigned and went back into retirement. They both surrendered to the police and are out on $75,000 bail each. They did not enter pleas, but they had to turn in their passports. Both claim that they are innocent, with Curley’s lawyer calling the case weak and Schultz’s lawyer said the two men did what they were supposed to do, which was inform their superiors about the allegations.
PSU administrators weren’t the only ones to look the other way.
Finally, we have Victim 1. In 2005 or 2006, he was eleven or twelve when he met Sandusky through The Second Mile program – when the boy was in his second year at said program. In 2007, the boy began to see Sandusky on a weekly basis, and he spent nights at Sandusky’s home. Sandusky would take the boy to pro and college sports events, such as Philadelphia Eagles games and pre-season Penn State practices. When Victim 1 spent the night at Sandusky’s house, the boy would sleep in the basement bedroom. Sandusky gave the boys gifts such as golf clubs, a computer, and cash. Sandusky took the boy to other places, such as church.
Victim 1 testified that when he slept over, Sandusky would climb into bed and rolling under Victim 1 who was already in bed. Then, Sandusky would grab the boy around the waist and ‘crack his back.’ This became routine, and it progressed to Sandusky rubbing Victim 1′s butt. This behavior started in 2005 or 2006, before the boy entered sixth or seventh grade. Next, Sandusky would blow on the boy’s bare stomach. This led, eventually, to Sandusky kissing the boy on the mouth. Sometimes, Victim 1 would try to hide from Sandusky.
Victim 1 testified that ultimately Sandusky performed oral sex on him more than 20 times through 2007 and early 2008. Sandusky also had Victim 1 perform oral sex on him one time and also touched Victim 1′s penis with his hands during the 2007 – 2008 time period. Victim 1 did not want to engage in sexual conduct with Sandusky and knew it was wrong. Victim 1 stopped taking Sandusky’s phone calls and had his mother tell Sandusky he was not home when Sandusky called. This termination of contact occurred in the spring of 2008, when Victim 1 was a freshman in high school.
Keep in mind, according to Victim 1, the assaults occurred for two to three years. Before Victim 1 broke off contact, Sandusky was allowed to take the boy out activity period/study hall at Clinton County high school without permission from a parent and meet with the boy in a school conference room. Sandusky helped with coaching of the varsity football team and had pretty much free reign of the school. And, remember, this is after the 2002 incidence in which the only punishment Sandusky received was that he was told not to bring young boys to the PSU campus any more. Victim 1′s mother was interviewed after the Grand Jury report was released, and she said:
I didn’t even know he was leaving the school with my child….I didn’t know he was taking him out of class. They never told me that.
Sandusky was allowed to take Victim 1 out of class as he pleased because of his status in the school and surrounding community. No one questioned him removing Victim 1 from class, or if someone did, that person was ignored.
Victim 1 testified to an incident in which he was climbing a rock-climbing wall in the weight room one evening at the high school; Sandusky was with him. The boy fell from the wall a few times, and after one such fall, Sandusky got on top of the boy and started wrestling with him. They were lying on the floor when a wrestling coach, Joe Miller, walked in. Sandusky jumped up and quickly explained they were just practicing wrestling moves, even though Sandusky was not a wrestling coach.
Miller found the use of that secluded room odd for wrestling because the bigger wrestling room right outside the weight room had more room to wrestle and more mats.
Miller testified that he frequently saw Sandusky with Victim 1.
Next up, Steven Turchetta, an assistant principal and head football coach at Victim 1′s high school. He reiterated that Sandusky was a volunteer assistant football coach. The Second Mile operated in that district, and some of the kids were on Turchetta’s football team. Turchetta met Sandusky in 2002 when Sandusky wanted to assist The Second Mile boys on the football team. In 2008, Sandusky became a full-time volunteer football coach for the team. Turchetta was the one who would call boys out of their study hall/activity period at Sandusky’s behest. Turchetta testified that he knew of several students who would spend time alone with Sandusky, including Victim 1. Sandusky would often want more time with the boys than the boys were willing to give, which would lead to shouting matches. Turchetta sometimes would mediate these arguments, and he was the point of contact if Sandusky had not been able to reach a particular boy the night before.
Turchetta testified that Sandusky would be ‘clingy’ and even ‘needy’ when a young man broke off the relationship he had established with him and called the behavior ‘suspicious.’
After Turchetta was made aware of the accusations by Victim 1′s mother, Sandusky was barred from the school and was reported to the authorities as mandated by law.
I need to interject again. As I read Turchetta’s testimony, my incredulity meter rose. Really? Turchetta acted as a broker between Sandusky and different students, witnessed shouting matches concerning the involvement of said students with Sandusky (not enough for Sandusky), pulled students out of class to meet with Sandusky, viewed Sandusky’s behavior as ‘suspicious’, and yet, he didn’t do anything about it before the allegations were made? He didn’t once think, “Hm, you know what? This is fucked up. I don’t think I’m going to let this happen any more.”? I have a very hard time believing that Turchetta didn’t have suspicions in his mind as he continued to be the go-between for Sandusky and the students Sandusky chose to mentor, so to speak.
The last of the Grand Jury findings and my conclusions.
The Office of Attorney General Narcotic Agent Anthony Sassano testified that there were 61 phone calls from Sandusky’s home phone to Victim 1′s home phone between January 2008 and July 2009. In the same time frame, there were 57 calls from Sandusky’s cell phone to Victim 1′s home phone. Four calls were made from Victim 1′s home phone to Sandusky’s cell, and one call was made from Victim 1′s mother’s cell phone to Sandusky’s cell.
Another witness, F.A., aged 15, testified that Sandusky had taken him and Victim 1 to an Eagles game and that Sandusky was driving. He saw Sandusky put his hand on Victim 1′s knee, which Sandusky had done to hi m as well on more than one occasion. It made F.A. uncomfortable, but when he tried to move away, Sandusky kept his hand where it was. F.A. also testified that Sandusky would lean over while driving, lift F.A.’s shirt and tickle his bare stomach; F.A. saw Sandusky do this to Victim 1, too. F.A. slept over once at Sandusky’s home, but only when he knew Victim 1 was going to be there, too. F.A. did not like the physical contact and started avoiding Sandusky. Victim 1 testified that Sandusky drove with his hand on Victim 1′s knee.
That sums up the Grand Jury findings. As things currently stand, President Spanier resigned from PSU as did Vice President Gary Schultz. Athletic Director Tim Curley was placed on administrative leave, and Coach Joe Paterno was fired*, but not currently under investigation. The Department of Education is investigating whether the handling of this case violated federal law. Jerry Sandusky was released on $100,000 unsecured bail by a judge who also volunteers at The Second Mile**, even though the prosecutors asked for bail to be set at $500,000 and that Sandusky wear a leg monitor. Unsecured bail means Sandusky won’t have to pay any money unless he doesn’t show up in court. Personally, I think that is really fucking lenient bail for his alleged crimes, but, again, I cannot speak to the legal aspect of the case – though, technically, I just did, I suppose.
As for the victims, if the allegations are true, there are numerous boys who have been sexually assaulted/raped by Sandusky and have had to deal with the aftermaths of said attacks. Sandusky founded The Second Mile in 1977, so I would not be surprised if more allegation are yet to surface. As I reviewed the Grand Jury report and consulted other resources in researching this case, the thing that kept running through my mind is how so many men knew about this along the way and did not do all they could to stop it. If just one of these men had said, “Hey, this isn’t right,” and refused to stop until he uncovered the truth, Sandusky could have been stopped a long time ago. One man doing the right thing, continuously, no matter the consequences. I know it’s easy for me to say that from the outside and in retrospect, but it was what I kept thinking as I wrote these posts.
Yet, not one of these men did that. The culture of PSU football was sacrosanct to them, and anyone associated with the program was given undue deference. Time and time again, Sandusky’s behavior was accepted without question, and that was one big reason, if the accusations are true, that he was able to get away with his criminal behavior for decades. Even now, as I’m wrapping this up, that’s the thought that keeps haunting me and the thought that won’t let me sleep – not one of the men in positions of power had the courage to stop this nightmare from continuing.
*I intend to write a post about the firing of Paterno and the subsequent reactions of the students and PSU, but I need a few days break from the PSU case to clear my head before I tackle the subject again.
**There is nothing inappropriate about the fact that she volunteers at The Second Mile, but she might have thought to recuse herself from the case because of the connection.