Corrections appended: June 6, 2012, and June 11, 2012.
Maybe you’ve been following the case closely for the last seven months, since child sex abuse charges were first filed against Jerry Sandusky in early November. Maybe you’ve been checking in only occasionally, or maybe you just need to catch up on the legal developments of the last month since you left campus for the semester.
With jury selection complete as of June 6 and opening statements set to start June 11, we want to make sure you have the information you need to make sense of the case. Below, you’ll find a guide to assist in reading coverage of the Sandusky trial: basic facts of the case, a glossary of key figures, an explanation of each individual listed in the grand jury presentments and a glossary of legal terms that have come up frequently. Links to important documents or other updates connected to the case can be found throughout.
We hope this can serve as a clear, concise reference throughout the trial. As court proceedings continue, we will update it regularly to reflect changes in the case. Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com with any feedback or if you’d like to see anything clarified further. Stay with collegian.psu.edu and @dailycollegian on Twitter for ongoing coverage.
The first grand jury presentment, filed in November 2011 and outlining incidents connected to eight individuals Sandusky is charged with abusing, can be found here. The second grand jury presentment, filed in December 2011 and outlining incidents connected to two additional individuals Sandusky is charged with abusing, can be found here.
Notes on the case –
A gag order has been issued in the case by the judge, meaning no one involved can discuss the case with media. After the conclusion of the trial, attorneys and others involved will be allowed to discuss it again.
A protective order was issued in the beginning of the case by the presiding judge that initially protected the identities of those who say they were abused by Sandusky. This means that the names of the males connected to Sandusky’s charges could not be released to the public prior to trial. These individuals are instead referred to as “Victim 1,” “Victim 2” and so on in court documents. However, the judge recently denied requests from several people who said Sandusky abused them to use pseudonyms during the trial, a move that raised concerns among some about the implications of making their identities public.
The individuals referred to as “Victim 2” and “Victim 8” in court documents have not yet been identified. Sandusky’s charges connected to these individuals are based on other eyewitness accounts.
A riot broke out in downtown State College on Nov. 9 after the Penn State Board of Trustees announced the end of late head football coach Joe Paterno and former Penn State President Graham Spanier’s careers in their respective positions. The board removed Paterno because his “failure of leadership” when he was told about an incident involving Sandusky and a young boy in the football building on campus, according to a statement made by the board in March. Spanier was removed, according to the statement, for not properly informing the board regarding the same incident and for making press announcements without consulting with the board.
For more information on Paterno’s involvement, see Joe Paterno, Mike McQueary, Gary Schultz, Tim Curley and “Victim 2” in the Key figures section below.
Sandusky was arrested twice in connection with this case. The first time, he was arraigned Nov. 5 and charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight boys prosecutors said he met through his charity, The Second Mile. He was arraigned again on Dec. 7 and charged with an additional 12 counts of of child sex abuse involving two additional males who came forward to authorities after the first set of Sandusky’s charges were made public. After his second arrest, a judge confined Sandusky to house arrest.
Sandusky waived his preliminary hearing in December. If the hearing had been held, a judge would have considered whether there was enough evidence to take the charges to court. Months after waiving his right to this hearing, Sandusky’s attorney asked for charges to be dropped because he didn’t think there was enough evidence to prosecute him on the charges, but this motion was denied.
Key figures –
Joe Amendola: Based out of State College, Amendola, 63, is Sandusky's defense attorney. Some have criticized him for allowing Sandusky to talk to the media leading up to the trial. Prior to an isssued gag order, Amendola regularly held press conferences -- sometimes lasting an hour or longer -- outside of the Centre County Courthouse following hearings in the case. Amendola has said multiple times that he believes the males connected to Sandusky’s charges were in contact with each other while the investigation was going on and collaborated on what they would tell law enforcement agencies. Amendola earned a bachelor's degree in history from Penn State and a law degree from Georgetown University.
Tom Corbett: Before he was elected as Pennsylvania governor in 2010, Corbett was the attorney general who began investigating the Sandusky case. The investigation continued after Corbett assumed the role of governor under Linda Kelly, the current attorney general. As governor, Corbett also sits on Penn State’s Board of Trustees as an ex officio member.
Tim Curley: Curley is currently on administrative leave from his position as Penn State’s athletic director. He is charged with perjury and failure to report abuse in connection with the Sandusky case. According to court documents, Mike McQueary told Curley he saw Sandusky abusing a boy in a Lasch Building shower area, and Curley did not report the incident to authorities. According to court documents, prosecutors believe he lied when he testified about this in front of a grand jury, saying he was not aware of any investigation involving Sandusky in 1998.
Senior Judge John Cleland: Hailing from McKean County, Cleland , 64, is the judge who was selected in November to preside over the Sandusky case – all Common Pleas judges from Centre County recused themselves from overseeing the case.
Cleland was an active and senior judge in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and served as president Judge of McKean County. Prior to the trial, Cleland made many rulings in the case, such as the decision to allow Sandusky to have contact with his grandchildren while on house arrest. He also moved the trial from the original date he set, May 14 to June 5, but refused to move it back any further. Cleland’s career as a judge spans 27 years and he serves as the chairman of the Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice.
Jonelle Eshbach: Eschbach is one of the main prosecutors in the case. She is a Senior Deputy Attorney General and has filed many documents in the case and argued on behalf of the Commonwealth at several of Sandusky’s hearings. According to the website of the Office of the Attorney General, Eshbach started her career in 1988 at the York County District Attorney’s Office where she worked until 2000 handling criminal trials and prosecuting many homicide cases. In July of 2000, Eshbach joined the Office of the Attorney General to serve as part of its Capital Litigation Unit where she specialized in capital appeals. She’s handled capital appeals of mass murderers throughout the state of Pennsylvania and in federal court.
Rodney Erickson: Erickson is the current Penn State president who took over after Spanier was removed from his position. He previously served as the university's executive vice president and provost. He was subpoenaed by the investigating grand jury, but as of May 22, his attorney said he still had not appeared in front of the jury or scheduled a date to meet. The reason he was subpoenaed has not yet been released.
Thomas Farrell: Based out of Pittsburgh, Farrell is the attorney representing Gary Schultz. He is a part of Farrell and Reisinger LLC, a private practice he has worked at for eleven years on mostly “white-collar” cases, he said. Farrell has maintained Schultz’s innocence throughout the case and has said he has full faith in his client.
Frank Fina: The Chief Deputy Attorney General in Pennsylvania, Fina is also one of the prosecutors in the Sandusky case. He formerly worked as a prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice Attorney General’s Office and at the Washington, D.C. Attorney General’s office. Fina previously worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Union County. His career as an attorney began in 1992 and he became an employee of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General in 2003. Fina now serves as the chief of the Public Corruption Section of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General. While in this position, he was the lead prosecutor in the widely publicized Bonusgate scandal case.
Linda Kelly: Kelly is Pennsylvania’s attorney general. Her office, along with the Pennsylvania State Police announced the charges against Sandusky, Curley and Schultz on Nov. 5, 2011, just months after she was sworn into her position on May 27, 2011. Before Kelly took over in the position, Gov.Tom Corbett was the state's attorney general.
Joseph McGettigan: This Pennsylvania senior deputy attorney general was appointed by Attorney General Linda Kelly to lead the case and has been very active in Sandusky’s prosecution. He has argued on the behalf of the Commonwealth at hearings in the case and filed a plethora of pre-trial motions. McGettigan is a former federal prosecutor and was a top assistant in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office. In 1985, McGettigan won a case prosecuting one of the first clergy members of the Philadelphia archdiocese to be accused of sexual abuse. Since then, he’s handled high-profile homicide cases in seven jurisdictions and served a year in Iraq with the U.S. Department of justice.
Mike McQueary: McQueary is a former assistant coach who testified that he witnessed Sandusky doing something “severe” and “sexual” in nature with a young boy in the Lasch Football Building showers. McQueary testified that he first told Joe Paterno what he had seen and then later told Gary Schultz and Tim Curley.
Joe Paterno: The late head football coach led the Nittany Lions to over 400 wins before being removed from his position by the Board of Trustees just days after Sandusky, Curley and Schultz were charged with criminal offenses. Mike McQueary said the day after he saw Sandusky in the shower with a young boy in the football building, he told Paterno what he saw. He said he didn’t describe the situation to the coach in explicit detail, but told him enough so he understood what had happened. The grand jury presentment states that Paterno then told his superiors, Curley and Schultz about the incident. Paterno announced that he would retire the day before the Board of Trustees removed him because of the way he handled the situation. Paterno died in January after complications with lung cancer. Because of his death, Paterno’s grand jury testimony will not be admissible in court.
Caroline Roberto: Roberto is the defense attorney representing Tim Curley. She has been a federal and state defense attorney for over 25 years.
Karl Rominger: Initially, Rominger only worked part-time on the case advising Amendola and Sandusky, but after Cleland ruled that only people who entered their appearance as counsel could view some evidence, Rominger officially joined on as Amendola’s co-counsel. He is based out of Carlisle. Rominger has experience in defending major cases -- he worked on the state-wide Bonusgate scandal case and has defended potential death penalty cases during his time as a defense attorney. He also represents small businesses and restaurants in both civil and criminal cases. According to Rominger’s website, he graduated from Dickinson School of Law and majored in political science during his undergraduate career at Allegheny College in Meadville.
Dottie Sandusky: Dottie is married to Jerry Sandusky and has stayed by her husband’s side throughout the investigation and legal process. She has maintained his innocence and is not charged in relation to her husband’s offenses.
Jerry Sandusky: This former Penn State defensive coordinator has been charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse on young boys he met through his charity, The Second Mile. Sandusky formed this organization to help underprivileged children. Sandusky was a coach on the Penn State football team over 30 years and was a highly regarded figure in the community prior to the allegations against him. Sandusky has maintained his innocence of all of the charges of sexual abuse. He was arrested two times in late 2011 because of the charges and is currently under house arrest.
Gary Schultz: Schultz is the former interim vice president for business and finance at Penn State. Prosecutors said he was told by Mike McQueary that he had seen Sandusky abuse a young boy, Schultz oversaw Penn State University Police. He is charged for not properly reporting the sexual abuse he was told had happened on campus and for lying about it in front of a grand jury.
The Second Mile: Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a non-profit organization for at-risk or underprivileged children, in 1977. The Second Mile announced recently after many program cuts since the charges were dropped and a loss of funding from donors that it submitted court documents in order to shut down and transfer its assets to another organization. All of the people who Sandusky is charged with abusing said they met Sandusky through this organization.
Graham Spanier: The former university president released a statement after Sandusky, Curley and Schultz were charged in connection with this case saying he had “complete confidence” in the way they handled the accusations.Spanier was later removed from his position on the Board of Trustees for the way he handled many aspects of the case, including issuing that statement. He was president of the university for 16 years. He is still listed in the Penn State directory and recently filed a lawsuit against the university to get back emails that involve the case.
The charges –
Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 16 years of age, 11 counts: A first-degree felony, a person can be charged with this crime if he or she is accused of using force or the threat of force to engage in either oral or anal sex. This crime could also be committed if the complainant - who reported the crime - is unable to give consent, or if this person is under 16 while the accused is more than four years older, and they are not married. Sandusky was initially charged with seven counts in November, then with four additional counts added after his second arrest in December.
Aggravated indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age, 1 count: A person can be charged with this crime if he or she penetrates, to any degree, the complainant without his or her consent or through force or the threat of force. In Sandusky's case, the person referred to as "Victim 4" in court documents said that Sandusky penetrated him with his finger on several occasions and in a number of locations in 1999.
Indecent assault with a person less than 16 years of age, 5 counts: A person can be charged with this crime if he or she has indecent contact - contact for the purpose of arousal - with the complainant without that person's consent or through the use of force or the threat of force. There are several degrees of this crime, with increasing severity.
Indecent assault with a person less than 13 years of age, 5 counts: Indecent assault of a child carries harsher penalties, though the crime falls into the same category as above. It can be bumped from a misdemeanor to a third degree felony if the person has committed multiple offenses, or if he or she has a record of previous indecent assaults. Sandusky's charges are split due to the span of ages of those he is charged with abusing.
Unlawful contact with a minor, 10 counts: A person can be charged with this crime if he or she is in contact with a minor for sexual reasons, including sexual assault or abuse, the distribution of pornography, prostitution or sexual exploitation. This crime is either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the reason the person was contacting the minor. Sandusky faces one count for each of those he is charges with abusing.
Corruption of minors, 10 counts: A person can be charged with this crime if he or she, as a legal adult, coerces or involves in the minor in any activity that corrupts the "morals" of that minor. The accused can not be excused from this crime if he or she claims that they did not know the other person was a minor. Sandusky faces one count for each of his accusers. Sandusky faces one count for each of those he is charges with abusing.
Endangering the welfare of children, 10 counts: A person can be charged with this crime if he or she, as a parent, guardian or supervisor of the child, commits any act that endangers that child. A person could also face these charges if he or she impedes a report of child abuse in a official capacity. Sandusky faces one count for each of those he is charges with abusing.
Outline of incidents included in grand jury presentments –
Editor's note: This section contains graphic content.
“Victim 1” This boy, who was a participant in Sandusky’s charity, The Second Mile, was aged 11 through 15 at the time of the incidents connected to Sandusky's charges, between June 2005 and September 2008. He was also a house guest at Sandusky’s residence, according to the grand jury presentment.
After his second year participating in the charity, Sandusky took the boy to professional sporting events, allowed him to stay overnight at his house, restaurants and church, and gave him gifts, such as cash, golf clubs and a computer, according to the presentment. This person testified that Sandusky would crack his back before bedtime, and eventually initiated sexual contact with the boy.
According to the presentment, the boy said Sandusky performed oral sex on him “more than 20 times” through 2007 and early 2008. He also said Sandusky had the boy perform oral sex on him once and touched him inappropriately with his hands. The boy said he cut off contact with Sandusky in 2008 when he was a freshman in high school.
“Victim 2” Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing this person in the showers of the Lasch Football building on Penn State’s campus because of former assistant football coach Mike McQueary’s testimony. McQueary said he witnessed the incident Feb. 9, 2001.The person referred to as “Victim 2” in court documents has not yet been identified.
McQueary said that when he walked in to the locker room, he heard “rhythmic slapping sounds” that he believed to be “sexual activity,” according to the presentment. He then looked in the shower where he saw a boy, who he believed to be 10 years old, with his hands against the wall. McQueary testified that the boy “was being subjected to anal sex” according to the presentment.
McQueary said he told late head football coach Joe Paterno about the incident the next day, who said he then told former Interim Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley what had happened. The way Curley and Schultz handled this incident led them to be charged with failure to report abuse and for lying to a grand jury. It also led to the firing of Penn State president Graham Spanier and Paterno.
“Victim 3” The person referred to as “Victim 3” in court documents met Sandusky during the summer between 7th and 8th grade from July 1999 and December 2001, when he was 12-14 years old. Sandusky met him during the boy’s second year involved in The Second Mile and started to invite him to go places with him.
The boy testified that when he would go to the gym with the former Penn State defensive coordinator, he would choose a shower far away from Sandusky because he felt “uncomfortable.” He said Sandusky made him “feel bad” about showering far away from him, and eventually Sandusky initiated sexual contact with him, according to the presentment. He said Sandusky gave him bear hugs in the shower.
The boy said he also slept over Sandusky’s house in his basement bedroom. He testified that Sandusky gave him shoulder rubs, blew on his stomach, tickled him and rubbed the inside of his thigh. He also said Sandusky touched his genitals through his athletic shorts on two occasions.
“Victim 4” Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing this person, whom he also met through his charity, The Second Mile. The boy, who was aged 12-17 at the time of the incidents connected to Sandusky's charges, between October 1996 and December 2000, was invited to a family picnic by Sandusky during his second year involved in his charity.
When at the picnic, Sandusky initiated physical contact with the boy in a swimming pool, according to court documents. The boy also said later, indecent contact also occurred in the shower and hotel rooms at Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center. The boy reported that there were more than 50 occurrences of sexual assault involving him and Sandusky. This person also appeared with Sandusky in a picture in Sports Illustrated and a video made about linebackers that featured Sandusky, according to court documents.
The boy also said Sandusky gave him many gifts and on one occasion, gave him $50 to buy marijuana, which he smoked in Sandusky’s car. He also said Sandusky used to buy him cigarettes.
“Victim 5” The person referred to as “Victim 5” was 12 or 13 in August of 2001 when the incidents connected to Sandusky's charges occurred, and he met Sandusky through The Second Mile.
This person said Sandusky brought him to as many as 15 football games and sometimes traveled out of town for games. He said Sandusky used to put his hand on the boy’s leg when he would sit in the front seat of the car. He said that on one occasion, Sandusky “pinned Victim 5 up against a wall in the corner” and made the boy touch Sandusky inappropriately. He said he was uncomfortable so he walked out of the shower and got dressed. The boy said after that incident Sandusky never touched him again and he never got invited to any more football games.
“Victim 6” This boy was 11 years old on May 3, 1998 between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. when the offenses involving him and Sandusky occurred in the Lasch Football building shower and locker room, according to court documents. He said he went to multiple football games with Sandusky and family tailgates.
He said on May 3, 1998 the boy said he went to work out with Sandusky and after working out, the boy said Sandusky started to wrestle him and then Sandusky told him he needed a shower. Sandusky “lathered” the boy with soap and bear hugged him from behind.
When the boy returned home, his mother was upset that he had showered with Sandusky so she reported it to Penn State University Police, which led to an investigation by the Centre County District Attorney. Two detectives listened in on a conversation the boy’s mother had with Sandusky about the incident where 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,” according to the grand jury presentment.
“Victim 7” This person was 9 to 11 years of age during September 1995 to December 1996 when contact occurred at Sandusky’s home and in the East Area Locker Room, according to court documents. This boy said he stayed overnight at Sandusky’s house on Friday and go to home football games with him the next day.
The boy said on “more than one occasion” Sandusky put his hands down the waistband of the boy’s pants but never touched any “private parts.” He said Sandusky also “bear-hugged” him, cracked his back and showered together. The person referred to as “Victim 7” said he has a “blurry memory” of some contact with Sandusky in the shower.
“Victim 8” On a Thursday or Friday evening between Nov. 20 to 27, 2000 on a weekend when the Penn State football team was playing at an away football game, staff at the Lasch Football building saw Sandusky with this boy, who witnesses believe was between 11 and 13 years old.
A janitor at the time said he observed Sandusky in the showers of the building with the boy pinned up against the wall and he was engaging in oral sex with the boy. Another Office of the Physical Plant employee said he heard the showers on and saw two pairs of feet but could not see the body. He said he saw Sandusky exit the locker room with the boy.
The janitor told his supervisor what he had seen and the supervisor told him he could report it if he wanted to, but no report was ever made. Later in the evening they saw Sandusky driving around the building slowly but not stopping. The boy’s identity is still unknown and the janitor currently suffers from dementia and cannot testify.
“Victim 9” This person said that between July 2005 and December 2008 Sandusky committed offenses against him including oral and anal sex and indecent contact. The boy said he was 12 to 15 years old at the time and the incidents connected to Sandusky's charges occurred at the former assistant football coach's house, the Hilton Garden Inn on East College Avenue and other locations.
He said that Sandusky “forced him to perform oral sex on numerous occasions” “attempted” to anally penetrate him at least 16 times and did penetrate him on a few occasions, according to the grand jury presentment. This person said that though he stayed at Sandusky’s residence many times, he had “barely any” contact with Sandusky’s wife Dottie. On one occasion, this boy said he screamed for help because he knew Dottie was upstairs, but no one ever came to his assistance.
This person contacted the Pennsylvania State Police after Sandusky was first arrested on multiple counts of child sex abuse in November.
“Victim 10” This person was 10 to 12 years old between September 1997 and July 1999 when he says he was sexually assaulted by Sandusky at the outdoor pool at Penn State, in Sandusky’s car and in Sandusky’s home, though he said he never stayed overnight.
The boy said Sandusky performed oral sex on him on various occasions and asked him to perform oral sex on Sandusky, which the boy did. He also said that at the swimming pool, Sandusky slid his hands underneath his swim trunks and touched his genitals before picking him up.
This person contacted the Pennsylvania State Police after Sandusky was first arrested on multiple counts of child sex abuse in November.
Frequently used legal terms –
bill of particulars: a document that contains detailed information and specifics about the charges against a defendant
gag order: once a judge issues a gag order, attorneys and others involved in a case may no longer make media or public comments about it
grand jury: a group of citizens that is selected to investigate allegations and determine if a person should be charged with a crime; in Pennsylvania, 23 people sit on the grand jury; these proceedings are secret
perjury: the offense of making a false statement while under oath
preliminary hearing: a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence in the case to bring it to trial
statute of limitations: the maximum amount of time after an offense is committed that a person can be convicted of a crime; varies based on what state a crime was committed in and based on what a person is charged with doing
subpoena: an order directing a person to appear somewhere to give a testimony or to release documents that relate to a legal case
venire: the group of people from which a jury is selected
voir dire: preliminary questioning of prospective jurors used to select a fair and impartial jury
quash: to void a subpoena issued for someone to appear in court or for documents to be handed over that involve a case
Court documents and rulings –
All legal documents filed in the case can be found on the Centre County website. Coverage of these rulings and other aspects of the case from the Collegian can be found here. Several important documents:
- Order denying requests to conceal identities during trial of those who said Sandusky abused them
- Most up-to-date bill of particulars
- Order regarding prosecution’s request for change in venire
Collegian staff writers Paige Minemyer and Anna Orso contributed to this report.
Sources: Collegian archives, court documents, the Associated Press, Pennsylvania General Assembly website
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated information about incidents related to Sandusky's interactions with the people identified as "Victim 2" and "Victim 6" in court documents. According to court documents, prosecutors say the incident involving "Victim 2" occurred on Feb. 9, 2001, and the incidents involving "Victim 6" in 1998. The above article reflects the correct information. The Daily Collegian apologizes for these errors.