AG encourages victims to come forward
HARRISBURG – Attorney General Linda Kelly and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan today issued the following statements concerning the ongoing Jerry Sandusky sex crimes investigation:
“I understand that many of you have different degrees of familiarity with the allegations and circumstances of this case.
I know, too, that there has been extensive media coverage of these charges over the past weekend, that many news articles and opinion pieces have already been written, and that many of you are already very familiar with the allegations contained in the presentment as well as the defendants that have been charged and the organizations and institutions that have been mentioned.
This is an ongoing investigation and this is also a grand jury investigation, which means there are some details we cannot discuss at this time.
A large part of this case revolves around the actions of Jerry Sandusky and the criminal charges that have been filed against him for the alleged sexual assaults he committed on eight young boys who were victimized over a period stretching from 1994 to 2009.
Equally significant, however, is the role that several top Penn State University administrators, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President of Business and Finance Gary Schultz, played in this matter, allegedly failing to report suspected child abuse and later providing false testimony and false statements to the grand jury that was investigating this case.
I suspect that most of you have now reviewed the grand jury presentment which details a disturbing pattern of sexual assaults on young boys, all of whom Sandusky met through his involvement in the charitable organization known as The Second Mile – an organization that Sandusky himself founded.
Some of those assaults allegedly occurred while Sandusky was a coach at Penn State while others happened on the Penn State campus and elsewhere, after Sandusky had retired from his coaching position – including the showers in the locker room of the Penn State football team at Lasch Hall, to which Sandusky apparently had unrestricted access to as part of his retirement agreement with Penn State.
It was the activity in those football locker rooms, first reported by a victim in 1998 and again by a witness in 2002, that are particularly disturbing.
The incident which occurred in 2002 at Lasch Hall where Sandusky was seen committing a sexual assault on a young boy of about ten years of age, was reported to University officials by a graduate assistant who happened to be in the building late one Friday evening.
Those officials, to whom it was reported, did not report the incident to law enforcement or any child protective agency, and their inaction likely allowed a child predator to continue to victimize children for many more years.
The grand jury heard some very graphic and compelling testimony from key witnesses in this case – including the graduate assistant who told them what he saw in the shower and Penn State football coach Joe Paterno– men who saw or heard about the sexual assault of that young boy in the football locker room and reported that incident to top administrators at the university.
The grand jury also heard testimony from others at the university, including the defendants, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz, who are now charged with making false statements about what they knew, making statements that were not credible and failing to report suspected child abuse.
One of the basic principles of our legal system is that witnesses are required under the law to tell the truth when they are called before a grand jury – the truth, pure and simple.
That principle applies to everyone, from the ordinary man-on-the-street to those who occupy positions of power and influence in our society – men like the defendants in this case.
If we are to enforce the law and protect our citizens, and in this case our children, we cannot condone under the law the actions of those who make false statements to a grand jury, regardless of the positions they hold, particularly when they involve serious matters of great importance.
The sexual abuse of a child is a horrific offense that understandably arouses strong emotions within all of us and can cause scars that last a lifetime for its victims.
In this case, it is alleged that top administration officials at Penn State University, Curley and Schultz, after receiving a report of the sexual assault of a young boy in a Lasch Hall shower by Sandusky from both a graduate assistant and the coach of the Penn State football team not only failed to report the incident, as required by law, but never made any attempt to identify that child.
Today we encourage that person, who is now likely to be a young adult, to contact investigators from the Attorney General’s Office at 814-863-1053, or Pennsylvania State Police at 814-470-2238. We also encourage anyone else who has any information related to this case to please contact those same numbers.
This is an ongoing and active investigation and Commissioner Noonan and I have made it clear to everyone at both of our agencies that we are determined to quickly respond to any new witnesses or additional information that may appear.
Sandusky was taken into custody this past Saturday in Centre County and is currently awaiting a preliminary hearing.
Defendants Curley and Schultz are both scheduled to appear for preliminary arraignment today in Harrisburg.
The case against Sandusky is being prosecuted in Centre County because that is where the sexual assaults allegedly occurred.
The case against Curley and Schultz is being prosecuted in Harrisburg – Dauphin County – because that is where they allegedly made false statements to the investigating grand jury.”
Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan had the following additional comments:
“This is not about a football team or a university; it is about child sexual abuse and the culture that allowed it to continue. These children are scarred for life.
Child sexual abuse is a serious crime and I assure you, the PA State Police will listen. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, I leave you with three words: Nine – One – One.”