*Jerry Sandusky, former football assistant to Nittany Lion’s head coach Joe Paterno, was obviously someone who was trusted at Pennsylvania State University. He founded the Second Mile Foundation, a group home for troubled boys, in 1977, which serves over 100,000 at risk youth.
But Sandusky was arrested and led away in handcuffs last week in a child sex-abuse scandal that has rocked Pennsylvania State University and sparked a grand jury indictment over an alleged cover up.
The national scandal has also resulted in the firings of Lion’s head coach Joe Paterno, Penn State’s beloved head coach, as well as Pennsylvania State’s university president and two top administrators.
A Special Commonwealth Pennsylvania grand jury described in findings that Sandusky was a relentless sexual predator who took advantage of at-risk children and their disadvantaged single parents.
The case was broken by one of Sandusky’s victims, cited as “Victim Number 1” who reported Sandusky to authorities.
Reports are also leaking out that the eight victims may have been poor inner city black boys.
Edward Wyckoff Williams, a columnist for the Grio, points out that many sex abuse cases in recent years have involved high profile leaders and victims of sexual abuse, who have been young black males.
Within the grand jury’s findings was an incident in 2002, when assistant coach Mike McQueary, the team’s wide receiver coach, witnessed Sandusky allegedly raping a boy, estimated to be about 10 years old, in the shower of Penn State’s locker room.
According to the Washington Post, McQueary told Paterno—and Paterno told athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president for finance Gary Schultz, who, in turn, reported it to university president Graham Spanier. None took allegations to police.
The Pennsylvania Statewide Investigating Grand Jury stated that Sandusky selected the eight boys from the populations served by the Second Mile Foundation.
Poor children became easy prey for Sandusky, who would start with mentoring, then move on to hosting the boys for overnights in the bedroom at his home and then initiate copulation, anal sex, according to the grand jury report.
The report indicates that Sandusky may have raped and molested at least 8 young boys between the ages of 10 and 15 from 1994-2009. He is free on $100,000 bail and is awaiting his first hearing on Dec. 7. He has been charged with 40 counts of abuse, but maintains his innocence, according to his attorney.
If convicted, he would face a maximum punishment of life in prison.
Unbelievably, Sandusky, 67, was twice investigated on charges of sexual assault. Neither investigations resulted in either organization terminating Sandusky’s employment or access to facilities.
Investigators are also looking into rumors that Sandusky may have been procuring at-risk youth for foundation donors. The foundation raises millions of dollars a year from corporate and individual donors in Pennsylvania.
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.
One of the mothers of the victims, whose voice was disguised and recently spoke to Good Morning America in silhouette, said, “There was a time when my son started acting out. He was angry about something, we didn’t know what.”
No doubt more victims will come forward as the scandal continues to unfold.