The number of alleged sexual abuse victims of Jerry Sandusky reportedly now numbers 20. The amount of abuse counts he reportedly will face is in the 40s. Given the depth and breadth of his alleged sexual abuse of children over at least a 15-year period, why didn’t we know about it earlier, and why wasn’t it stopped earlier? Those are some of the most important questions to ponder.
Based on the grand jury presentment, we know that the first alleged assault by Sandusky that was reported to police occurred in 1998.
Sandusky had taken a child to work out and essentially forced the 11-year-old boy to shower with him after their workout, even though the child was not sweaty. The boy says Sandusky forced him to shower next to him even though he didn’t want to. He says he was bear-hugged by Sandusky in the shower.
When the boy was dropped off at home, his mother questioned him about his wet hair. She called University Police to report the incident.
The grand jury presentment says a lengthy investigation was conducted by the University Police — led by detective Ronald Shreffler. The county’s district attorney decided there would not be criminal charges, even though Sandusky admitted to an investigator he had hugged the child in the shower while acknowledging the behavior was wrong. The investigation included a second child that experienced nearly the same thing as the first child.
Clearly a pattern was established that Sandusky had done this with two children. Why wasn’t he charged for the reported incidents in 1998? Why did the University Police director, Thomas Harmon, tell the detective to close the investigation?
The answer to these important questions may point to the beginnings of where a school-wide cover-up to protect the image of the football program began. But before we make that charge, we must know why the investigation was closed and why they didn’t charge Jerry Sandusky — a decision that resulted in countless other children allegedly being abused.
More on the Penn State Scandal:
Jerry Sandusky Could Face Criminal Charges in San Antonio
Barry Switzer: Penn State coaches had to have known about Sandusky
Paterno Likely Did Not Know in ’02 What We Know About Sandusky Now
Urge to Rip Joe Paterno Leaves Society Ignoring Most Important Lesson