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Abuse allegations detailed in Penn State scandal

Pennsylvania's attorney general describes the claims against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, accused of molesting young boys for years. The case raises questions about a vaunted football program and its iconic coach.

November 07, 2011|By Richard Fausset, Tina Susman and Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times

While Paterno's rolled-up pants and Coke-bottle glasses became the national face of Penn State, he also made significant contributions to the culture and tone of the massive central Pennsylvania school. He assumed the head coaching mantle in 1966, embarking on what he called "The Grand Experiment" — an effort to win football games with character, and with an emphasis on academics.

Paterno, who majored in English at Brown University, fielded teams inspired by quotations from Robert Browning and Thomas Aquinas. They won national championships and bowl games, and, perhaps most famously, they graduated. The Sporting News reported this week that Penn State football's graduation rate stood at 87% — tied with Stanford among teams in the top 25.

Sandusky played for Paterno as a defensive end in the 1960s, beginning his Penn State coaching career in 1969. For years, he was considered a potential successor to Paterno, but he retired from the game in 1999, focusing on Second Mile, a charity to help disadvantaged children.

Often, the grand jury report alleges, he offered children perks — tickets to Philadelphia Eagles games and trips to preseason practices — or lavished them with gifts, such as golf clubs, gym clothes and even cash.

The grand jury report also alleges unwanted physical encounters: back rubs in bed, hair-washing in after-hours locker rooms, forced sex.

Some of the alleged incidents occurred while he was a coach, and some after, when he had unfettered access to Penn State campus facilities, authorities said.

In the grand jury report, a boy identified as "Victim 1" said his abuse began in 2005 or 2006, when the boy was 11 or 12 years old and a participant in a Second Mile camp for underprivileged youth.

The relationship began innocently, with Sandusky befriending the youth and inviting him to his home, the grand jury report said. But over time, it changed. The boy told a grand jury that Sandusky would come into the spare basement bedroom where he invited boys to spend the night and "crack" the boy's back by having him lie on top of the coach.

Then he began rubbing the boy's back and blowing on his bare stomach. "Eventually, Sandusky began to kiss Victim 1 on the mouth," said the grand jury report, which described the youth sometimes trying to hide in the basement to keep away from Sandusky.

He said he couldn't get away, though, and testified that Sandusky performed oral sex on him more than 20 times between 2007 and early 2008, and that he had the boy perform oral sex on him at least once.

A statement posted Sunday on the Second Mile website said that its chief executive, Jack Raykovitz, was contacted by Curley, the Penn State athletic director, in 2002, and that Curley told Raykovitz that "an individual had reported to Mr. Curley that he was uncomfortable about seeing Jerry Sandusky in the locker room shower with a youth."

"Mr. Curley also shared that the information had been internally reviewed and that there was no finding of wrongdoing," the charity's statement said.

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