Timeline: Sandusky Child Sex Abuse Scandal
It's been a year since Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years following his July 2012 conviction on 45 counts of sexual abuse. Here's a look back at the events of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
A look back at the events leading up to the release in July, 2012 of the The Freeh Report on the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
It's been exactly one year since former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years and maximum of 60. Sandusky, 68, was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse, some of which took place while he was working at the school.
Jon Sandusky, son of Jerry Sandusky, was arrested early Tuesday morning on suspicion of drunk driving in Fargo, N.D. The arrest comes one day before the year anniversary of his father's sentencing on his sexual abuse conviction. Jon Sandusky is in his fourth season as Cleveland Brown's director of player personnel.
1977: Jerry Sandusky starts his charity, The Second Mile in State College, Pa. for at-risk kids, a place "devoted to helping troubled boys."
1993: Tim Curley [L] becomes PSU's athletic director. Gary Schultz becomes vice president and treasurer.
Victim No. 7 meets Sandusky through his Second Mile program. He was about 10 at the time and referred by a school counselor. He testified that he spent nights at Sandusky's home, that uncomfortable advances were made and that he has a "blurry memory" of some contact with Sandusky in the shower.
May 3, 1998: Sandusky assaults Victim 6 in the Lasch building shower, according to the Freeh report.
May 4-May 30, 1998: Victim 6's mother reports to the University Police Department that Sandusky showered with her 11-year-old son in the Lash Building on the Penn State Campus. Police begin an investigation. Schultz is informed of the investigation and notifies Graham Spanier and Tim Curley. University Police Department Chief Harmon emails Schultz and tells him "we're going to hold off on making any crime log entry" because of a "lack of clear evidence of a crime." Curley tells Schultz and Spanier that he has "touched base" with Paterno about the incident. During a board meeting on May 15, Spanier does not tell the board about the ongoing investigation, according to the Freeh report.
June, 1998: The District Attorney declines to bring charges against Sandusky. A University Police Detective and Department of Welfare caseworker interview Sandusky. Sandusky admits to hugging Victim 6 in the shower but claims there was nothing "sexual about it." The detective advises Sandusky not to shower with the boy and Sandusky replies that he won't. Harmon emails Schultz and tells him that the officers met with Sandusky and that "his account of the matter was essentially the same as the child's." Sandusky claims "he had done this with other children in the past." Sandusky is advised that there was no criminal behavior established and that the matter was closed as an investigation. Schultz emails Curley and Spanier, telling them, "I think the matter has been appropriately investigated and I hope it is now behind us."
1999: Sandusky retires from the Penn State football program. Despite this, he still has an "emeritus" label which allows him access to campus facilities. These facilities include the locker room. Gary Schultz testified the timing of Sandusky's retirement was unrelated to the investigation a year earlier.
Dec. 1999: Sandusky brings a young boy known as Victim 4 to the 1999 Alamo Bowl in Texas and assaults him at a team hotel, according to the Freeh report.
Fall of 2000: A janitor at the school, Jim Calhoun, tells co-workers he saw Sandusky sexually assault a young boy in the East Area Locker Building. Later that night, another janitor, Ronald Petrosky, witnesses two pairs of feet in the same shower and then sees Sandusky and a young boy leaving the locker room holding hands, according to the grand jury report. Fearing they could be fired, neither janitor reports the incidents to University officials, law enforcement or child protection authorities.
Feb. 9, 2001: University graduate assistant Michael McQueary witnesses Sandusky involved in sexual activity with a boy in the coach's shower room in the school's Lasch Building. He meets and reports the incident to coach Joe Paterno the next day. According to the grand jury report, Paterno did not immediately report what McQueary told him, explaining that he "did not want to interfere with anyone's weekend." McQueary would later testify Paterno told him he needed to "tell some people about what" he saw and would let him know what would happen next. After Sandusky's arrest, Paterno told a reporter he told McQueary, "I said you did what you had to do. It's my job now to figure out what we want to do."
Feb. 11, 2001: Paterno meets with and reports the "shower incident" to athletic director Tim Curley and Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz.
Feb. 11, 2001: Schultz reaches out to University outside legal counsel Wendell Courtney and discusses the "reporting of suspected child abuse." Courtney conducts legal research on the issue and has another conference with Schultz that same day.
Feb. 12, 2001: Schultz and Curley meet with Penn State President Graham Spanier to give him a "heads up" about the report on Sandusky. Spanier calls the meeting "unique."
Feb. 12, 2001: A "confidential" note between Schultz and Curley reflects that the men believed Curley should discuss the incident with Paterno and meet with Sandusky. In the note, the men agree that unless Sandusky confesses to having a problem, they should have the Department of Public Welfare review the matter as an independent agency concerned with child welfare. That same day, Schultz asks University Police Chief Tom Harmon if a police report still existed of the 1998 incident. Harmon tells him that it does.
Feb. 25, 2001: Curley, Spanier and Schultz discuss an action plan for addressing the Sandusky incident. Handwritten notes from Schultz indicates they planned to tell the chair of Board of Second Mile, report to the Department of Welfare and tell Sandusky to not bring children alone into the Lasch Building.
Feb. 26, 2001: Schultz emails Curley, confirming the plan from the previous day's meeting. The email and several that follow are written in a cryptic tone without use of proper names or titles,
according to the Freeh report.
Feb. 27, 2001: After discussing the matter with Paterno the day before, Curley recommends a differnt course of action to Spanier and Schultz. The new plan is to offer Sandusky "professional help" and assist him in informing the Second Mile about the allegations against him. The plan then recommends they not inform the Department of Public Welfare if Sandusky is "cooperative."
AP Photo/The Patriot-News
March 5, 2001: Curley meets with Sandusky and tells him he is "uncomfortable" with the information about the incident and that he is going to report it to the Executive Director of the Second Mile. He also tells Sandusky he won't be allowed in athletic facilities with any young people. Curley never accuses Sandusky of abusing children or uses the words "sex" or "intercourse" during the discussion, according to Sandusky's counsel. Schultz and Spanier, who have prior knowledge of the 1998 child sex abuse allegation against Sandusky, approve Curley's new plan. Spanier writes in an email that "the only downside for us is if the meeting isn't 'heard' and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it. But that can be assessed down the road. The approach you outline is humane and a reasonable way to proceed,"
according to the Freeh report.
March 2001: Curley meets with the Second Mile executive director and tells him that an unidentified person saw Sandusky in the locker room with a young boy, was "uncomfortable" with the situation and that Curley had discussed the incident with Sandusky and determined nothing inappropriate had occurred. Curley also tells the executive director that Sandusky would not be allowed to bring children onto the Penn State campus in order to avoid publicity issues. Curley also asks the executive director to emphasize this to Sandusky. The Second Mile executive director tells two Second Mile Trustees about the incident with Sandusky and they come to the conclusion that it was a non-incident and there is no need for further action. The Second Mile executive director also meets with Sandusky and asks about Curley's prohibition about bringing children on campus. Sandusky replies that the prohibition only applied to the locker rooms,
according to the Freeh report.
March 15-16, 2001:
According to the Freeh reportn, there is no record of the President telling the Board about the ongoing investigation on Sandusky during the meeting.
July 1999-Dec. 2001- Sandusky assaults a young boy known as "Victim 3" several times in the Lasch Building and other locations,
according to the Freeh report. Aug. 2001: Sandusky assaults a young boy known as Victim 5 in the Lasch Building, according to the Freeh report.
July 24, 2001: Schultz leads a transaction to sell a parcel of University property to the Second Mile. The Board of Trustees would later approve the sale in September of 2001.
Aug. 2001: Sandusky assaults Victim 5 in the Lasch Building shower,
according to the Freeh report.
Jan. 7, 2010: University receives subpoenas from the Pa. Attorney General for personnel records and correspondence regarding Sandusky.
Sept. 16, 2010: A Patriot-News reporter contacts Spanier. The two exchange emails regarding Spanier's knowledge of an investigation of Sandusky for suspected criminal activity while he was a Penn State employee.
Dec. 28, 2010-Jan. 11, 2011-Then Penn State General Counsel Cynthia Baldwin speaks to the Attorney General's Office staff about Grand Jury subpoenas for Schultz, Paterno and Curley. Baldwin also alerts Spanier of the subpoenas and meets with Schultz, Paterno and Curley to discuss Sandkusky. Baldwin also calls former University outside counsel Wendell Courtney about his knowledge of Sandusky. Courtney emails Schultz and writes that Baldwin "called me today to ask what I remembered about JS issue I spoke with you and Tim about circa eight years ago. I told her what I remembered. She did not offer why she was asking, nor did I disclose that you and I chatted about this." Courtney emails Baldwin that "someone...contacted Children and Youth Services to advise of the situation so that they could do whatever they thought was appropriate under the circumstances, while being apprised of what PSU actions were, ie., advising JS to no longer bring kids to PSU's football locker rooms."
Jan. 12, 2011: Paterno, Schultz and Curley testify before the Grand Jury.
AP Photo/The Patriot-News
March 31, 2011: Patriot News publishes article on Sandusky investigation.
April: 2011 - A Trustee emails Spanier asking if the Board will be briefed about the Sandusky investigation. Spanier tells the Trustee "Grand Jury matters are by law secret, and I'm not sure what one is permitted to say, if anything. I'll need to ask Cynthia [Baldwin] if it would be permissible for her to brief the Board on the matter. The Trustee emails Spanier again, telling him that the "university should communicate something about this to its Board of Trustees," since high ranking people at the university were appearing before a grand jury. Spanier responds by saying, "I'm not sure if it is entirely our place to speak about this when we are only on the periphery of this." Spanier asks Baldwin to call the Trustee. Spanier appears before a grand jury. He then separately emails Baldwin, writing "[the Trustee] desires near total transparency. He will be uncomfortable and feel put off until he gets a report." Spanier, Baldwin and a Board Chair have a conference call to discuss the Sandusky Grand Jury.
May 12, 2011: Board of Trustees meeting takes place. Spanier and Baldwin brief the Board on the status of the Grand Jury investigation.
The Freeh report states the two downplay the importance of the investigation to Penn State
July 15, 2011: Another Board of Trustees meeting takes place. During the meeting, Spanier and Baldwin do not update the Board on the Sandusky investigation, according to the Freeh report.
The Freeh report also states the Board does not ask about the investigation. Sept. 9 , 2011: Another Board of Trustees meeting takes place in which Spanier and Baldwin do not update the Board on the Sandusky investigation, according to the Freeh report.
Nov. 5, 2011: Sandusky is arrested. Spanier sends out a press release expressing "unconditional support" for Schultz and Curley while also stating "protecting children requires the utmost vigilance." Spanier emails Baldwin stating that if the Board is briefed, "it will be nothing more than what we said publicly." When a Senior administrator suggests an independent review of Penn State's intercollegiate athletics, Baldwin replies, "If we do this, we will never get rid of this group in some shape or form. The Board will then think that they should have such a group." Spanier agrees.
Nov. 6, 2011:
Board paces Curley on administrative leave while Schultz retires. Nov. 7, 2011: Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner and Attorney General announce charges against Sandusky, Schultz and Curley during a press conference. Nov. 8, 2011: The Board releases a third press release announcing the formation of an investigative task force to review the case.
Nov. 9, 2011: Board removes Spanier as President and names Rodney Erickson as Interim President. Board also removes Joe Paterno as Head Football Coach.
Board sends message to Paterno to phone the Board Vice Chair who tells Paterno he is no longer the Head football coach. Later that night, students demonstrate Paterno's firing on the Penn State campus.
Nov. 11, 2011:
McQueary is placed on administrative leave by Penn State. Nov. 13, 2011: The leader of Sandusky's "The Second Mile" charity resigns.
Nov. 14, 2011:
A New York Times report states the ongoing child-abuse investigation revealed almost 10 other young men may have been abused. During a telephone interview with Bob Costas, Sandusky admits to showering with boys but claims he only "horsed around" with them.
Thurs, Nov. 21:
Penn State announces it has hired former FBI director Louis Freeh to investigate the abuse allegations.
Nov. 30, 2011: A civil lawsuit is filed against Sandusky, the Second Mile and Penn State. The suit claims Sandusky sexually abused the plaintiff more than 100 times when he was between the ages of 10 and 14. The accuser is not among the eight alleged victims in the grand jury report.
December 7, 2011:
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is rearrested and charged in two new alleged child sex abuse cases.
Dec. 13, 2011:
Sandusky waives his right to a December 13 preliminary hearing.
Jan. 6, 2012:
Penn State hires Bill O'Brien as its new head football coach.
Jan. 22, 2012:
Joe Paterno dies of lung cancer. Jan. 25, 2012: Long lines of friends, family, students and alumni pay their respects to Paterno during his funeral.
May 7-8, 2012:
Judge John Cleland allows documents related to McQueary's allegations against Sandusky to be altered. The new documents change the date of events McQueary previously said happened in March of 2002. The papers instead reveal the events happened in February of 2011.
June 6, 2012:
A nine-member jury of five men and seven women is chosen for the Sandusky trial in Pennsylvania's Centre County.
June 22, 2012:
The jury finds Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 counts for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
Fri, June 29, 2012:
CNN releases secret emails between Spanier, Schultz and Curley discussing the 2001 shower incident a little more than two weeks after McQueary reported it.
July 9, 2012: Lawyers visit Sandusky in jail.
He insists that he's innocent.
July 10, 2012:
The Paterno family releases a statement defending their father two days before the release of the Freeh Report.
July 12, 2012:
The Louis Freeh report is released n, accusing top Penn State officials, including Spanier, Paterno, Schultz and Curley of not reporting what they knew about Sandusky's abuse.
July 22, 2012: Workers handle the statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno before removing the statue in State College, Pa.
July 22, 2012: Visitors gather to check out the empty spot, where Paterno's statue once stood outside Beaver Stadium.
July 23, 2012: NCAA President Mark Emmert stands alongside NCAA Executive Committee Chair Ed Ray, as sanctions are announced against Penn State-- including a $60 million dollar fine and the vacating of all wins of the football team from 1998-2011.
July 22, 2012: A man hangs a sign that reads 'Will PSU yield to threats?' at the site in which the statue of former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno stood sits empty after it was removed by workers outside Beaver Stadium.
Jerry Sandusky releases a statement from jail a day before he is scheduled to be sentenced to prison. The former Penn State coach will be sentenced on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.
July 30, 2013:
Ex-PSU officials ex-President Graham Spanie, former vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley are ordered to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
August 2013: Penn State's bill to pay costs related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal is nearing $48 million. A university website showed a $47.7 million total as of the end of May, up $1.9 million from two months earlier.
August 24, 2013: Jerry Sandusky's adopted son Matt Sandusky have finalized deals with Penn State over claims of abuse by the school's former assistant football coach, their lawyer says.
August 2013: "Victim 5" has settled and completed agreement with the university for an undisclosed amount.
Sept. 6, 2013: Paterno family filing outlines claims against NCAA. The document filed elaborated on ways they say the NCAA has harmed them, including making it difficult for Paterno's son to find a coaching job.
Sept. 22, 2013: Jerry Sandusky's lawyer and members of the state attorney general's office are inside a courtroom as he seeks to have his child molestation conviction overturned.
Sept. 22, 2013: Police are investigating a tip that a missing prosecutor connected to former PSU assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse case was killed and dumped in a mine shaft.
Sept. 24, 2013: The NCAA says it will gradually restore football scholarships taken from Penn State over the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
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