Key dates in the Penn State child sex abuse case

  • Article by: The Associated Press
  • Associated Press
  • October 6, 2012 - 2:00 PM

A chronological look at the case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, based on grand jury reports, court appearances and testimony. Some key dates in Penn State football and since the scandal broke are included.

_ 1969 — Jerry Sandusky starts his coaching career at Penn State as a defensive line coach.

_ 1977 — Jerry Sandusky founds The Second Mile. It begins as a group foster home dedicated to helping troubled boys and grows into a charity dedicated to helping children with absent or dysfunctional families.

_ January 1983 — Associated Press voters select Penn State as college football's national champion for the 1982 season.

_ January 1987 — Associated Press voters select Penn State as college football's national champion for the 1986 season.

_ 1994 — Boy known as Victim 7 in the report meets Sandusky through The Second Mile at about age 10.

_ 1994-95 — Boy known as Victim 6 meets Sandusky at a Second Mile picnic at Spring Creek Park when he is 7 or 8.

_ 1995-96 — Boy known as Victim 5 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile when he is 7 or 8.

_ 1996-97 — Boy known as Victim 4, at age 12 or 13, meets Sandusky while he is in his second year of The Second Mile.

_ 1996-98 — Victim 5 is taken to the locker rooms and showers at Penn State by Sandusky when he is 8 to 10.

_ Jan. 1, 1998 — Victim 4 is listed, along with Sandusky's wife, as a member of Sandusky's family party for the 1998 Outback Bowl.

_ 1998 — Victim 6 is taken into the locker rooms and showers when he is 11. When Victim 6 is dropped off at home, his hair is wet from showering with Sandusky. His mother goes to university police, who investigate.

Detective Ronald Schreffler later testified that he and a State College detective eavesdropped on two conversations the mother of Victim 6 has with Sandusky, with the consent of the mother. Sandusky says he has showered with other boys, and the boy's mother tries to make Sandusky promise never to shower with a boy again — but he will not. At the end of the second conversation, after Sandusky is told he cannot see Victim 6 anymore, Schreffler testifies that Sandusky said, "I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead."

Jerry Lauro, an investigator with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, testifies that he and Schreffler interviewed Sandusky, and that Sandusky admitted showering naked with Victim 6, admitted to hugging Victim 6 while in the shower and admitted that it was wrong.

The case is closed after then-Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar decides there will be no criminal charge.

_ June 1999 — Sandusky retires from Penn State but still holds emeritus status.

_ Dec. 28, 1999 — Victim 4 is listed, along with Sandusky's wife, as a member of Sandusky's family party for the 1999 Alamo Bowl.

_ Summer 2000 — Boy known as Victim 3 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile when he is between seventh and eighth grade.

_ Fall 2000 — A janitor named James Calhoun observes Sandusky in the showers of the Lasch Football Building with a young boy, known as Victim 8, pinned up against the wall, performing oral sex on him. He tells other janitorial staff immediately. Fellow Office of Physical Plant employee Ronald Petrosky cleans the showers at Lasch and sees Sandusky and the boy, described as being between ages 11 and 13.

Calhoun tells other physical plant employees what he saw, including Jay Witherite, his immediate supervisor. Witherite tells him to whom he should report it. Calhoun was a temporary employee and never makes a report. Victim 8's identity is unknown.

_ March 1, 2002 — Mike McQueary, a Penn State graduate assistant, enters the locker room at Lasch. In the showers, he sees a naked boy, known as Victim 2, whose age he estimates to be 10, being subjected to what he believed was anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky, he later testified at trial. McQueary tells his own father immediately.

_ March 2, 2002 — In the morning, McQueary calls Coach Joe Paterno and goes to Paterno's home, where he reports what he has seen.

_ March 3, 2002 — Paterno calls Tim Curley, Penn State athletic director, to his home the next day and reports a version of what McQueary said.

_ March 2002 — Later in the month, McQueary is called to a meeting with Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz. The grad assistant says he reported what he saw, and Curley and Schultz say they will look into it.

_ Around March 27, 2002 — McQueary, who later became an assistant coach for the team, hears from Curley. He is told that Sandusky's locker room keys were taken away and that the incident has been reported to The Second Mile. The graduate assistant is never questioned by university police, and no other entity conducts an investigation until the graduate assistant testifies to the grand jury in December 2010.

_ 2005-2006 — Boy known as Victim 1 meets Sandusky through The Second Mile at age 11 or 12.

_ Spring 2007 — During the 2007 track season, Sandusky begins spending time with Victim 1 weekly, having him stay overnight at his residence in College Township, Pa.

_ Spring 2008 — End of contact with Victim 1 occurs when he is a freshman in a Clinton County high school. After the boy's mother calls the school to report sexual assault, Sandusky is barred from the school district attended by Victim 1, and the matter is reported to authorities, as law requires.

_ Early 2009 — An investigation by the Pennsylvania attorney general begins when a Clinton County teenager tells authorities Sandusky inappropriately touched him several times over a four-year period.

_ September 2010 — Sandusky retires from day-to-day involvement with The Second Mile, saying he wants to spend more time with family and handle personal matters.

_ Nov. 5, 2011 — Sandusky is arrested and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts.

_ Nov. 7, 2011 — Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly says Paterno is not a target of the investigation into how the school handled the accusations. But she refuses to say the same for university President Graham Spanier. Curley and Schultz, who step down from their positions, surrender on charges they failed to alert police to complaints against Sandusky.

Schultz and Curley have testified to the grand jury that McQueary never gave them graphic details or told them how serious his allegations were about Sandusky and the boy known as Victim 2.

_ Nov. 8, 2011 — Possible ninth victim of Sandusky contacts state police as calls for ouster of Paterno and Spanier grow in state and beyond. Penn State abruptly cancels Paterno's regular weekly news conference.

_ Nov. 9, 2011 — Paterno and Spanier, one of the nation's longest-serving college presidents, are ousted, effective immediately. Earlier in the day, Paterno announces plan to retire at the end of the season. School provost and executive vice president Rodney Erickson is appointed to replace Spanier. Irate students take to the streets.

_ Nov. 11, 2011 — McQueary is placed on administrative leave.

_ Nov. 14, 2011 — Big Ten Conference announces it will take Paterno's name off championship trophy. Second Mile President Jack Raykovitz resigns from the youth charity.

_ Nov. 15, 2011 — Sandusky tells NBC's "Rock Center" that he is not a pedophile but realizes that, in retrospect, he should not have showered with boys. He pauses and then rambles when Bob Costas asks whether he is sexually attracted to children.

_ Nov. 18, 2011 — Son Scott Paterno says in a statement to the AP that Paterno is undergoing treatment for a form of lung cancer.

_ Nov. 30, 2011 — A lawsuit alleges Sandusky sexually abused a boy more than 100 times after meeting him through The Second Mile.

_ Dec. 3, 2011 — The New York Times reports that Sandusky told the newspaper Paterno never spoke with him about any suspected misconduct with minors.

_ Dec. 7, 2011 — Sandusky is arrested on new sex abuse charges brought by two new accusers, including one who says the abuse took place in the Sandusky home while Sandusky's wife may have been home. Sandusky, facing 52 charges based on allegations involving 10 accusers, spends the night in jail.

_ Dec. 8, 2011 — Sandusky's wife, Dottie, posts his bail. She issues a statement proclaiming her husband's innocence and claims the accusers are making up their stories. Sandusky is ordered to undergo electronic monitoring.

_ Dec. 13, 2011 — Sandusky waives a preliminary hearing at which he could have faced his accusers, moving a step closer to trial.

_ Dec. 16, 2011 — McQueary testifies during a preliminary hearing for Curley and Schultz and says he believes he saw Sandusky molesting a boy but stops short of saying he was sure Sandusky raped the child. A judge rules there is enough evidence against the men to send the cases to trial. Their lawyers say their clients are innocent and will be acquitted.

_ Jan. 6, 2012 — New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien agrees to become new Penn State football coach.

_ Jan. 13, 2012 — Erickson holds the last of three meetings in as many days with alumni as he tries to calm anger about how the university has dealt with the scandal. A crowd in New York applauds one woman who asks, "How do you explain the lack of due process for Joe Paterno?"

_ Jan. 14, 2012 — Paterno tells The Washington Post in his first interview since his ouster that he is "shocked and saddened" by the scandal and "didn't know which way to go" after McQueary went to him in 2002. Paterno says McQueary "didn't want to get specific" about details, and Paterno says he was hesitant to make follow-up calls because he didn't want to be seen as trying to exert influence either for or against Sandusky.

_ Jan. 19, 2012 — Penn State trustees try to counter alumni uproar in interviews, telling the AP they decided to oust Paterno in part because he didn't do more to alert authorities in 2002. Trustees also say Paterno made statements after the scandal broke that they felt challenged trustees' authority.

_ Jan. 21, 2012 — Paterno's doctors say his condition is "serious" after he experiences complications from lung cancer in recent days.

_ Jan. 22, 2012 — Paterno dies at age 85.

_ June 11, 2012 — Sandusky's trial on 48 counts of child sex abuse charges begins. Testimony comes from eight of the 10 victims, in often graphic form. Sandusky does not take the stand, but his wife does. Their adopted son, Matt, announces that after hearing some of that testimony, he realized that Sandusky had allegedly abused him, too.

_ June 22, 2012 — Sandusky is convicted on 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse.

_ July 12, 2012 — Penn State's investigation into the Sandusky scandal concludes that the administrators who fielded a 2001 complaint about him created a dangerous situation by not reporting it. The report by Louis Freeh said that Spanier, Paterno, Curley and Schultz, in order to avoid negative publicity for the school, "repeatedly concealed critical facts" and that they "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade."

July 22, 2012 — A statue of Paterno that stood outside Beaver Stadium is removed hours before the NCAA imposes sanctions on Penn State that include $60 million in fines, a four-year post-season ban on football, capping scholarships for the football team at 20 below the normal limit for four years and five years of probation.

Aug. 22, 2102 — Spanier, in an interview with The New Yorker magazine, claims he was not aware that early complaints against Sandusky were sexual. His lawyers blast the Freeh report.

Sept. 1, 2012 — Penn State football opens its first season without Joe Paterno. His widow, Sue, and her daughter, attend the game, and tell The Associated Press that she "just wants us to win." Penn State loses to Ohio 24-14.

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