Penn State sex scandal: Jerry Sandusky ran boys camps for years
This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.
Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant Penn State football coach charged with sexually assaulting at least eight boys, was allowed to operate a summer football camp for boys on a Penn State satellite campus for six year after school officials were told of his improper contacts with boys.
Penn State officials prohibited Sandusky from bringing boys onto the main campus at State College, Pa., in 2002 after a graduate student reported that he had seen Sandusky assault a boy in a locker room shower. But Sandusky operated a summer camp under his name from 2002 to 2008 at a satellite campus near Erie, Pa., where he had daily contact with boys from fourth grade to high school.
The Erie campus, known as Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, provided facilities to Sandusky, according to Bill Gonda, the school’s director of marketing communication. Gonda told the Associated Press that the school received no complaints about Sandusky during that period.
Gonda declined to say whether officials at the Erie campus were aware of allegations of sexual misconduct against Sandusky, referring questions to officials at the main campus, the AP reported.
Gonda did not immediately return calls from The Times seeking comment.
Lisa Powers, director of public information for Penn State in State College, did not immediately respond to a request by The Times for comment.
Sandusky is free on $100,000 bond after his arrest Saturday on charges of sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky retired as an assistant football coach at Penn State in 1999.
On Tuesday, the mothers of two of Sandusky’s alleged victims were quoted by the Harrisburg Patriot-News as saying they were outraged that university officials did not report Sandusky to authorities after they received reports that he had been seen showering with boys in a campus locker room.
“If they would have done something about it in 1998, and then again in 2002 -- there was two chances, they dropped the ball and I think they should all be held accountable,” said the mother of a boy referred to as Victim Six in a grand jury report released Saturday.
“I’m so upset, I just can’t believe it.”
The woman told the newspaper that she and her son felt “betrayed” by school officials, particularly Penn State President Graham Spanier.
Spanier has expressed support for former Athletic Director Tim Curley and the school’s senior vice president, Gary Schultz, who have been charged with failing to report allegations against Sandusky to police and lying to the grand jury about what they had been told.
“To see that Graham Spanier is putting his unconditional support behind Curley and Schultz when he should be putting his support behind the victims, it just makes them victims all over again,” the mother told the newspaper.
She added: “I’m infuriated that people would not report something like that .... I still can’t believe it. I’m appalled. I’m shocked. I’m stunned .... They could have prevented this from happening.”
The mother said university officials “tried to make my son and the other boy out to be liars.”
Another boy, then 15, referred to as Victim One, reported that Sandusky had molested him at his high school where Sandusky was a volunteer football coach, the boy’s mother told the Patriot-News.
The newspaper did not identify the mothers, citing its policy of not identifying victims of alleged sexual assault.
The mother of Victim Six said she confronted Sandusky after her son, then 11, told her he took a shower with Sandusky after a tour of the Penn State football locker room in 1998.
“Jerry Sandusky admitted to my face, he admitted it,” the mother said. “He admitted that he lathered up my son. They were naked and he bear-hugged him,” she said.
The grand jury report said Sandusky apologized to the boy’s mother.
“I understand. I was wrong,” the report quotes Sandusky as telling the boy’s mother. “I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.”
-- David Zucchino in State College, Pa.