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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Who is Gerald Arthur Sandusky?

Who is Gerald Arthur Sandusky? The college football world knows him as  Jerry Sandusky, he is a retired American football coach and convicted child sex offender. Sandusky served as an assistant coach for his entire career, mostly at Pennsylvania State University under Joe Paterno, and was one of the most notable major college football coaches never to have held a head coaching position. He received Assistant Coach of the Year awards in 1986 and 1999.[3] 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.[4]
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.[5] Four of the charges were subsequently dropped, leaving 48 counts remaining. On June 22, 2012, Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of the 48 charges.[6] According to legal experts, Sandusky will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.[7]

Early life and family

Sandusky was born January 26, 1944 in Washington, Pennsylvania, the only son of Evelyn Mae (née Lee), an Irish Catholic homemaker who came from a small Pennsylvania coal-mining town,[8] and Arthur Sandusky, whose parents, Edward and Josephine Sendecki, had immigrated from Poland to East Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. His father Arthur served in the field of youth service programs for over 30 years, mostly as director of the Brownson House in Washington, Pennsylvania, a community recreation center for children.[9][9] There, he founded the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling program and created junior basketball, volleyball, boxing and football programs for the Brownson House. He improved the facilities there by adding a new playground, gym, outdoor basketball court, and a renovated football field. He managed the 1955 Washington baseball team that won the Pony League World Series championship, the only team from Washington to win that championship. Arthur was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.[9]
Jerry Sandusky attended Washington High School, where he was a good student and standout athlete, playing baseball, basketball, and football.[10] He was a leader on his junior high basketball team that went undefeated through the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League.[10] Personally, his classmates have described him as a studious "loner" who "never dated in high school" but was a popular and handsome athlete.[10]
Sandusky married Dorothy "Dottie" (née Gross) in 1966, and together they have six adopted children.[11] Sandusky and his wife have also served as foster parents.[12] One of Sandusky's sons, Jon Sandusky, is Director of Player Personnel for the Cleveland Browns.[13][14] Another son, E. J. Sandusky, is an assistant football coach at West Chester University.[15]
Matt Sandusky, adopted son and former foster child of Sandusky's, released a statement through his attorneys saying that Sandusky had sexually molested Matt as a child.[16][17] Matt Sandusky's statement was released on the day the jury began deliberations in the sex abuse trial against Sandusky.[18]

Education and playing career

Sandusky played for Rip Engle at Penn State, starting at defensive end from 1963 to 1965.[12] He graduated first in his class with a B.S. in health in 1966 and physical education in 1970.[12][10]

Early coaching career

Sandusky served as a graduate assistant under Paterno at Penn State in 1966. He was the assistant basketball and track coach at Juniata College in 1967 and the offensive line coach at Boston University in 1968.[10]

Coaching career at Penn State

He returned to Penn State in 1969 and remained there as an assistant coach until his retirement at the end of the 1999 season. Sandusky served as defensive line coach in 1969, became linebacker coach in 1970, and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1977, holding that position until his retirement. In his years as a linebacker coach and defensive coordinator, he coached many defensive squads, and Penn State gained a reputation for outstanding linebacker play, producing 10 first-team All-Americans at that position, and acquiring the nickname "Linebacker U". Jack Ham and LaVar Arrington were two of the noted pro football greats to emerge from his teams.[19]
His final game coaching at Penn State was a notable game for Sandusky. Penn State faced Texas A&M in the 1999 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. The Nittany Lions' defense shut out Texas A&M, 24–0, the only bowl game shutout victory for Penn State under Paterno. Sandusky was recognized in ways usually reserved for a head coach. He was doused with a water bucket and carried to the center of the field on the shoulders of his players.[20]

The Second Mile

After retirement, Sandusky hosted many summer football camps and was active in The Second Mile, a children's charity he founded in State College, Pennsylvania in 1977.[21]
President George H. W. Bush praised the group as a "shining example" of charity work in a 1990 letter,[22] one of that president's much-promoted "Thousand points of light" encouragements to volunteer community organizations.[19]
Citing Sandusky's work with The Second Mile charity to provide care for foster children, then U.S. Senator Rick Santorum honored Sandusky with an Angels in Adoption award in 2002.[23]
Ex-Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil, current Eagles head coach Andy Reid, former Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter, Matt Millen from ESPN, actor Mark Wahlberg, Arnold Palmer, and football player Franco Harris, among others, served on the Honorary Board of Second Mile.[24]

Child sexual abuse charges

Investigation and charges

On November 4, 2011, a grand jury[25] which had been convened in September 2009, or earlier,[19] 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 a 15-year-old 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.[26] The grand jury identified eight boys that had been singled out for sexual advances or sexual assaults by Sandusky, taking place from 1994 through 2009.[5] At least 20 of the incidents allegedly took place while Sandusky was still employed at Penn State.[27]
According to the first indictment, in 2002 assistant coach Mike McQueary, then a Penn State graduate assistant,[28] said he walked in on Sandusky anally raping a ten-year-old boy. The next day, McQueary reported the incident to Paterno, who informed Penn State athletic director Tim Curley. Ultimately, it is alleged, the only actions Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz (who oversaw the Penn State police department) took was to bar Sandusky from bringing children to the football building, take away his keys to the locker room, and report the incident to Second Mile; these actions were approved by school president Graham Spanier.[29] 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.[30]
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.[31] Curley and Schultz were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse by Sandusky.[32][33]
In December 2011, Sandusky was charged with an additional 12 counts of sexual crimes against children.[34][35] The grand jury's second presentment charges 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.[36]
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.[37]

Pre-trial interviews

On November 14, in a televised phone interview on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams, Sandusky admitted to correspondent Bob Costas to having showered with underage boys and touching their bodies, as he described it "without intent of sexual contact." Sandusky denied being a pedophile.[38] The interview received substantial coverage in the media, particularly regarding the manner in which Sandusky answered Costas when asked if he is sexually attracted to young boys:[39][40][41]
COSTAS: "Are you sexually attracted to young boys, to underage boys?"
SANDUSKY: "Am I sexually attracted to underage boys?"
COSTAS: "Yes."
SANDUSKY: "Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."
In the days following the interview, several potential victims contacted State College lawyer Andy Shubin to tell their stories, with one claiming Sandusky had abused him in the 1970s.[45]
In an interview with Jo Becker of the The New York Times[46][47] from December 3, 2011, Sandusky responded to the initial 40 charges of sexual crimes against children:


Sandusky chose to waive his preliminary hearing that took place in mid December.[48] Attorney Joseph Amendola represented Sandusky throughout the trial.[19][49]
The trial, for 52 charges of sexual crimes against children, started on June 11, 2012, at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.[50][51] Judge John Cleland presided.
Over the course of the trial that lasted eight days, jurors heard from eight different victims who testified that Sandusky sexually abused them.[52] Jurors also heard about assaults on two other victims who were never identified.[52] Of the eight males who gave testimony, each explained that they met Sandusky through The Second Mile organization, even though most of them did not know each other, and their individual stories spanned from the mid-1990s until 2009.[53][54] The witnesses shared similar stories of being abused in the football locker room showers or in the basement of Sandusky's home.[53] Sandusky's defense attorneys "attempted to counter those claims by alleging" that the accusers were driven by financial motives.
The first prosecution witness, identified in media reports as "Victim 4," described detailed accounts of many instances of sexual abuse, including unwanted oral and anal sex, by Sandusky while the witness was a participant in Sandusky's Second Mile charitable organization.[50] According to "Victim 4," he was sexually abused by Sandusky as many as three times a week for three years, beginning when the boy was 13 years old.[51] The witness further testified that when he attempted to distance himself from Sandusky, Sandusky offered the boy a contract for money to continue spending time with him.[51]
On the second day of trial, "Victim 1", the youngest of Sandusky's alleged victims, testified to over 20 incidents of abuse, including unwanted and forced oral sex, by Sandusky during 2007 and 2008 while the boy was a participant in Sandusky's Second Mile program. The boy was 11 or 12 years old when the sexual abuse started.[55][56] Mike McQueary, former Penn State graduate assistant football coach, testified that in 2001 in a locker room shower at Penn State, he heard "skin on skin" slapping sounds coming from the showers. McQueary testified that he then saw Sandusky naked behind a 10- to 12-year-old boy propped against a shower wall, with "Sandusky's arms wrapped around the boy's midsection in the closest proximity that I think you could be in."[57][58]
On June 18, 2012, it was reported that during the full-day court recess the previous Friday, prosecutors had contacted NBC "asking the network to re-authenticate a full unedited transcript of the Costas interview".[59] An unaired portion of the Bob Costas interview from November featured Sandusky saying, "I didn't go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I've helped".[60][61] Legal analysts explained that this could be used to cross examine Sandusky if he were to take the stand.[59]
On June 21, 2012, after the case had gone to the jury, Matt Sandusky, one of Sandusky's six adopted children, stated through his attorney that he was also a victim of the former coach's sexual abuse. He had been ready to testify for the prosecution, but did not do so.[62] Later, Amendola said that Sandusky had every intention of testifying in his own defense, but decided against it because the prosecution would have almost certainly called Matt Sandusky to the stand.[7]
The jury, of seven women and five men, deliberated for about 21 hours over two days.[53] On the evening of June 22, 2012, the jury reached its verdict, finding Sandusky guilty on 45 of the 48 counts against him.[63][6] Specifically, Sandusky was convicted of the following charges and counts: eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault, nine counts of unlawful contact with minors, 10 counts of corruption of minors and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children. [64]
Sandusky faces a maximum sentence of 442 years in prison.[49] According to NBC News' Michael Isikoff, Sandusky likely faces a minimum sentence of 60 years - at his age, effectively a life sentence.[65] A sentencing hearing was expected 90 days from the date of conviction.[63][52]


Penn State has been the subject of significant media criticism for allegations that several members of its staff, ranging from the University President down to a graduate assistant, covered up Sandusky's alleged assaults.[66] Maureen Dowd wrote of the scandal, "Like the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, the Penn State hierarchy appears to have covered up pedophile crimes to protect its brand."[66]
On November 6, 2011, Penn State banned Sandusky from campus.[67] His bail conditions did not include restrictions on his travel.[68]
On November 10, 2011, the Sandusky home, which is located next to an elementary school and playground, was vandalized.[69]
On November 15, 2011, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, a non-profit adoption awareness organization, rescinded its 2002 Angels in Adoption award to Jerry and Dorothy Sandusky.[70] Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who nominated Sandusky and his wife for the award, has said he is "devastated" by the scandal.[71]
In June 2012, Penn State University implemented a policy to require mandatory reporting of child abuse by any Penn State employee working with children. The policy also requires all Penn State employees working with children to go through a background check and training related to child abuse and reporting requirements.[72]


Sandusky co-wrote an autobiography titled Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story (ISBN 9781582612706), which was published in 2001.[73] His co-writer was Keith "Kip" Richeal. The book also includes a quote in a foreword[74] from football coach Dick Vermeil about Sandusky: "He could very well be the Will Rogers of the coaching profession."[75] In the book, which was still on sale at the Penn State bookstore according to a November 12, 2011, report in a Harrisburg paper, "Sandusky paints a picture of himself as someone who would consistently take risks in pursuit of what he often refers to as 'mischief'". Other passages which look "different in light of the horrendous allegations" include:
  • "[Y]ou could mess up a free lunch", Sandusky quoted his own father as telling him
  • "I thrived on testing the limits of others and I enjoyed taking chances in danger"
  • Sandusky telling of demonstrating his throat-hold on a Second Mile boy who'd come to Sandusky complaining of a "foster father [who] 'grabbed me around the back of my shoulders and ... made me do something when I didn't want to do it'"
  • Repeated descriptions of Sandusky hugging boys and talking about being very close to boys
  • "I enjoyed pretending as a kid, and I love doing the same as an adult with these kids."[76]
Other books by Sandusky include:


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