Tag:Penn State Scandal
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: December 11, 2011 11:55 am
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2nd version of McQueary 2002 account goes public

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported Sunday that the grand jury in the Jerry Sandusky case has heard a second, different version of what Penn State then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed in his 2002 encounter with Sandusky and a young boy in a PSU locker room.

McQueary has reportedly told the grand jury that he saw Sandusky and the boy engaged in a graphic sex act. But according to a source quoted in the Sunday Patriot-News report, the grand jury has also heard conflicting testimony from McQueary family friend Dr. Jonathan Dranov.  Per the source's account of Dranov's testimony, Dranov was present at the McQueary home when McQueary returned from the incident to discuss it with his father.

Dranov reportedly told the grand jury that McQueary's account that evening included seeing the boy and an adult sharing a shower stall and Sandusky leaving the showers (amongst other details), but not the graphic act of his earlier reported testimony. Dranov then advised McQueary to discuss the matter with Joe Paterno rather than go to the police, according to the Patriot-News source.

The precise nature of what McQueary told Paterno in their ensuing discussion has been the center of much of the outrage surrounding Paterno's and the PSU administration's inaction.

McQueary was placed on administrative leave from his coaching duties November 11 amidst threats to his safety.
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:32 am
Edited on: December 1, 2011 12:34 am
 

Penn State wants Paterno replacement by bowl game

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Penn State's coaching search is shifting into high gear as the school looks to quickly move past the Joe Paterno era and select a new head coach to lead the team out of some of the program's darkest days.

School president Rod Erickson told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the school hoped to have a new coach in place by the time Penn State plays in a bowl game.

The 23rd-ranked Nittany Lions (9-3) lost last week to Wisconsin to end the regular season and should find out what game they will play in by Sunday night. CBSSports.com currently projects the team to go to the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston on New Year's Eve. With the ongoing child sex abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, it is expected that the school slips behind several other Big Ten teams to a lower-tier bowl when committees hand out invites.

Paterno was fired after 46 seasons in early November in the wake of the Sandusky allegations. Longtime assistant coach Tom Bradley was named interim head coach but is not expected to be a leading candidate for the job.

However, a source told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that Bradley would be in charge of the team through the bowl game and be granted an interview for the full-time position. The football staff has been on the road recruiting this week before returning to Happy Valley to begin preparations for the final game of the season.

Acting athletic director Dave Joyner, a former Penn State football player, is the leader of the six-person search committee to help select a new coach. Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, Louisville head coach Charlie Strong and Virginia's Mike London have been mentioned as possible candidates.
Posted on: November 22, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 4:43 pm
 

Sandusky attorney says additional charges likely

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In an interview with Good Morning America, Joe Amendola, the attorney representing former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, said that Sandusky's accusers were "pampered" after being "labeled as victims" by the legal system, and that one's accusations were the result of tough love from Sandusky as a mentor.

"[P]eople when they're brought into the criminal justice system and they're labeled as victims, they're pampered, they're encouraged, they're treated specially. And particularly when you're dealing with maybe someone who hasn't had a great, the greatest of lives. Then a lot of times they start feeling more important," Amendola said in the interview.

Amendola's most specific comments about the alleged victims were directed at whom the Pennsylvania grand jury describes as Victim 1, saying those accusations were a negative reaction to Sandusky's demands for harder work toward unspecified goals.

"When you push and they don't want you to," Amendola said, "they react. And what Jerry believes happened is that this young guy got tired of Jerry pushing. Jerry believes that what happened was this young guy said, 'you know what, gee, if I say Jerry did something to me, that's the end of my relationship with Jerry.'"

Amendola also said that he is concerned that more charges will be brought against his client, and that his client may go back to jail before his trial as a result. Sandusky is free on $100,000 unsecured bail after facing 40 varying counts of sexual assault on underaged males, and the judge who set that bail was removed from the case after it was revealed that she volunteered for The Second Mile, the charity Sandusky formed in 1977 and allegedly used to meet all of his alleged victims.

That charity grew to such a sizeable scale that Amendola says accusations of sexual misconduct at the Second Mile house are implausible, because there was no way for Sandusky to be alone with a potential victim.

"Jerry tells me his house was like a hotel, particularly on football weekends, which is when this young guy... says that he was at Jerry's house," Amendola said. "The house was filled with people. At any given time, probably when this activity was allegedly going on, there might have been 25 to 50 people at Jerry's house."

Sandusky's preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 13 in Centre County court in Pennsylvania.
Posted on: November 22, 2011 12:27 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2011 12:45 pm
 

Senate to hold hearing in wake of PSU scandal

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State has reached all the way to the U.S. Senate.

A Senate committee will hold a special hearing dedicated to examining current laws protecting children from abuse and predation--and whether those laws will need to be stronger in the wake of the Sandusky grand jury allegations.

Already, multiple bills have been introduced in the Senate aimed at requiring witnesses of child abuse to report offenders to law enforcement. In the House, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) has introduced the "Speak Out to Stop Child Abuse Act," which would mandate witnesses to report abuse to either law enforcement or child protective services.

The Senate hearing has been called by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension subcommittee on children and families. Mikulski said she was "troubled and distraught about the child sexual abuse allegations" at PSU. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said the hearing would be "an opportunity to ensure that our federal laws are protecting our children from dangerous sexual predators."

The Sandusky story has, sadly, long since gone past the point of being about a football coach and a football program, and that it could spark a change in the way federal laws treat the reporting and prevention of child abuse is just the latest evidence of how important the story has become.
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:13 am
 

Report: Judge had ties to Sandusky's charity

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Jerry Sandusky scandal in State College took an interesting turn over the weekend, when it was pointed out that the judge who released the former Penn State defensive coordinator on bail had ties to The Second Mile - the charity founded by Sandusky.

Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing children, targeting many of his victims through the organization set up for troubled youths. Prosecutors in the case requested $500,000 bail for Sandusky, but Judge Leslie Dutchcot allowed him to be freed on $100,000 unsecured bail.

Judge Dutchcot's biography on the website of the law firm Goodall & Yurchak previously listed her as a volunteer for The Second Mile. Since news of the ties between the district judge and Sandusky spread, it appears the law firm has opted to pull down all of their attorney and staff profiles from the website.

Dutchcot's ties to Sandusky probably should have been addressed publicly before presiding on the case. If is possible her volunteering could have had no direct contact to the alleged sex offender at all. However, dropping the bail to 20% of the prosecution's request and then pulling the biography from the law firm's website do not help Dutchcot's argument for being the right person to preside over this matter.

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Posted on: November 13, 2011 12:24 am
 

Sandusky, Schultz draw hefty pensions from PSU

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and former Penn State treasurer/vice president of business Gary Schultz may both be retired, but they're both drawing substantial amounts of money from the school -- even as both face serious charges from the state of Pennsylvania. 

According to PennLive.com, Sandusky, who faces 40 charges of sexual assault for incidents that date back to his tenure as assistant head coach at Penn State, accepted a lump sum payment of over $148,000 from the State Employees upon retiring from Penn State in 1999. Since then, Sandusky has been deriving monthly pension payments that total $58,898 annually.

As for Schultz, the 39-year employee of Penn State retired in 2009, and had rejoined Penn State on an interim basis in 2011 when he was charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse in the Sandusky investigation. Upon his first retirement retirement, Schultz accepted a lump sum of $421,847, and currently draws a pension of $27,558 per month -- enough for an annual income of over $330,000 in pension.

If Schultz is convicted on his charges, however, he stands to forfeit that pension. Under Act 140 of Pennsylvania state law, there are several types of actions related to public trust that could trigger a forfeiture of pension. There is an entire Section of Act 140 relating specifically to perjury, which is one of the charges Schultz faces. And even if he is innocent of the perjury charge, he may also be subject to forfeiture under Section 5101, which relates to, among other things, obstructing administration of law. 

If Schultz does forfeit his pension, according to the law, he is still entitled to the money he paid in without interest, but that money must first go to legal fees and restitution related to the crime that forced his forfeiture. It was not announced how much Schultz paid in during his time at Penn State, and obviously it's too early to know how much in legal fees Schultz's criminal case will accrue -- or whether his case will end in forfeiture.

It's also worth noting that among the various reasons for forfeiting pension, Sandusky's charges don't appear to be covered as reasons to forfeit pension.

For the record, athletic director Tim Curley -- who also faces charges of perjury and failure to report -- did not participate in the state's pension plan, nor did fired school president Graham Spanier. Fired head coach Joe Paterno did participate, but his information has not yet been released by Penn State. A request is already in to the school for that information from the Patriot-News.

Posted on: November 12, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 11:17 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Posted by Adam Jacobi

According to a report on ESPN.com, the way Pennsylvania state law is written, many of the alleged victims in the Jerry Sandusky sexual assault case may not be able to file a lawsuit against Penn State or other defendants -- and their age may be the reason.

According to Pennsylvania state law, plaintiffs over the age of 20 may only file lawsuits in cases of sexual abuse that involved "forcible compulsion," which may exclude some of the lesser charges Sandusky currently faces -- regardless of their ages at the time of the alleged assaults. Seven of the eight alleged victims are now over the age of 20.

Here's more from the report: 

Shanin Specter, a litigator in Philadelphia who has been contacted by the family of one of the alleged victims, said the loophole could eliminate some of the victims as viable plaintiffs.

Specter said his firm will meet with the young man and his mother early next week to begin exploring legal options. He said he was contacted last week by the mother, whose son is one of eight alleged victims listed in the grand jury presentment against Sandusky.

"There's no doubt Joe Paterno will be sued and it will be left up to the discovery process to determine his liability," Specter said. "There are a lot of victims who suffered damages, and I expect that some number of defendants will be obligated to pay a lot of money."

Specter said he expects all of the men cited in the grand jury presentment will face lawsuits for any role they played in not reporting the alleged crimes to authorities. 

It's important to note that at this point, regardless of Specter's certainty on the issue, no civil suits have been filed yet. That's obviously subject to change over the coming weeks and months, but until those theoretical suits do (or don't) get filed, there's no way to address what effect the statute has on any complaints.

It was announced on Friday that Joe Paterno had retained criminal defense lawyer Wick Sollers in this matter, even though Paterno is not facing charges and was described as not being a target of the investigation by Pennsylvania attorney general Linda Kelly

Sandusky faces 40 charges of varying severity related to the sexual assault of minors, up to and including rape, after alleged incidents that occurred from 1995 to 2009.

Posted on: November 11, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 6:23 pm
 

McQueary placed on leave, in protective custody

Posted by Adam Jacobi

At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Penn State interim president Rodney Erickson announced that embattled assistant coach Mike McQueary -- a grand jury witness in the Jerry Sandusky sexual assault investigation -- had been placed on indefinite paid administrative leave, and that he would not attend the Penn State-Nebraska game at Beaver Stadium on Saturday.

McQueary's disassociation from the Penn State program may have already gone farther than what was announced by the university, however.

Later Friday afternoon, PennLive.com reported that McQueary spoke to his wide receivers via a speakerphone, and told them that he was not only on leave, he was out as a coach -- and under protective custody:

During a brief and emotional conversation, McQueary told them, “I wanted to let you guys know I'm not your coach anymore. I'm done.”

When players asked, "Coach, where are you? Can we see you?" McQueary responded, “No, I'm actually in protective custody. I'm not in State College.”

McQueary added that he was, "Double-fisting it," meaning he was having two drinks at once.

While Erickson's press conference mentioned nothing about protective custody, he did mention that the current environment surrounding McQueary and the team made going on leave a necessity.

"It became clear Coach McQueary could not function in this role under these circumstances," said Erickson. McQueary had come under fire for not intervening in an alleged sexual assault by Sandusky in 2002 after witnessing it, then reporting the assault to since-fired Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, but not directly to police.

A day earlier, Penn State had already announced that McQueary would not be coaching in this weekend's game, but the school merely said that that decision had been made because of threats against McQueary received by the school. Presumably, those threats are what have led to the reported protective custody. There was no mention of McQueary's job status in the Thursday announcement, and Erickson's press conference only revealed that McQueary's administrative leave was indefinite and paid. 

When one reporter asked him whether McQueary was covered under whistleblower laws, since he reported the incident to a superior, Erickson simply acknowledged that "there are complexities" to the issue. Erickson also declined to go into whether McQueary was on leave because of the threats Penn State reported receiving, or because of his role in reporting the alleged assault in 2002.

Sandusky faces 40 various counts of sexual misbehavior with minors, and the state of Pennsylvania has announced that the investigation is still ongoing.

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