PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Former Penn State Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky – once thought to be the man likely to succeed Joe Paterno as head coach of the university’s football team – is free on $100,000 bail after being charged in connection with the sexual abuse of eight boys, one age 10.
Sandusky was arrested today on 40 counts in connection with a grand jury investigation that has been on-going for nearly three years.
The 67-year-old Sandusky, who retired from coaching in 1999, allegedly met the boys through their association with an organization called Second Mile, a group Sandusky founded in 1977 for at-risk youth.
A newspaper in Harrisburg is reporting that Penn State’s venerable football coach, Joe Paterno, may testify for the prosecution against his former defensive coordinator.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly, in a prepared statement, described Sandusky as a sexual predator who used his position within the university and the community to prey on young boys.
According to the Attorney General, the misconduct occurred before and after Sandusky retired from his coaching job.
Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, said late Saturday: “Jerry is very, very depressed. He’s very upset; he’s very distraught about the charges, the allegations, and the knowledge that regardless of whether he eventually proves his guilt or innocence that people are going to think he did this stuff.”
Two current Penn State officials – Athletic Director Tim Curley and Finance Vice President Gary Schultz – have been charged with perjury in connection with the case.
According to investigators, the two allegedly knew of a witness to a reported 2002 sexual assault, but they did not try to seek out the boy involved and essentially did nothing about the report.
Investigators say a graduate student went to Paterno’s home in 2002 to report that he witnessed Sandusky and a boy in a locker room shower. Paterno gave that information to Curley who reportedly investigated, but never went to police with the information – as required by law.
Lawyers for Sandusky, Curley and Schultz all released statements Saturday, saying their clients are innocent.
Penn State President Graham Spanier also said in a prepared statement released Saturday that he fully supports both Curley and Schultz.