Second Mile knew of abuse allegations
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Authorities investigating sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky are examining the role of other parties not yet charged in the case whose actions, or lack thereof, may have delayed intervention by law enforcement authorities.
That includes top officials at The Second Mile, the nonprofit organization that Mr. Sandusky founded and, authorities allege, used to make contact with the children he victimized.
So far, Mr. Sandusky has been charged with sexually assaulting eight boys who participated in The Second Mile, a program for troubled youth. Also facing charges are Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president of business and finance Gary Schultz. Prosecutors say they failed to report a 2002 incident involving one of the children and later provided false information to a grand jury. Attorneys for all three have denied wrongdoing by their clients.
State Attorney General Linda Kelly on Monday said the investigation was continuing and that more charges were possible. An investigator in the case told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday that "a lot of entities besides Penn State University had a hand in this."
In a statement Monday, The Second Mile said it immediately ended Mr. Sandusky's contact with children in the program after he told them in 2008 he was under investigation for alleged sexual contact with a child, an allegation he told the organization was false.
That, however, was at least the third time in 10 years that the organization had been made aware of allegations involving Mr. Sandusky's contacts with children. The organization knew in 1998 that Mr. Sandusky was investigated for alleged sexual misconduct in a Penn State shower involving a different boy from the program, according to a presentment by a statewide investigating grand jury.
State College attorney Wendell V. Courtney was apprised of the investigation in 1998 because he was then counsel for Penn State and for The Second Mile. He has not responded to interview requests. That investigation, by university police, was closed when the Centre County district attorney's office decided not to file charges.
The Second Mile learned of another investigation involving Mr. Sandusky in 2002. In its statement, the agency said its chief executive officer, Jack Raykovitz, testified at the investigating grand jury that he had been told by Mr. Curley that an internal Penn State investigation had found no corroboration for an allegation of inappropriate contact by Mr. Sandusky with a youth in a university locker room shower.
According to the grand jury presentment, a Penn State graduate assistant saw Mr. Sandusky engaging in a sex act in the shower with a boy who appeared to be 10.
It wasn't until November 2008 that the program took steps to keep Mr. Sandusky away from children. Mr. Sandusky, who retired as Penn State's defensive coordinator in 1999, was still affiliated with The Second Mile until he retired from there in September 2010.
Mr. Raykovitz has not been available for comment beyond the prepared statement.
Also Tuesday, a published report raised questions about the initial response of officials at Central Mountain High School in Clinton County in 2008, when the mother of one of the accusers, a 15-year-old boy, confronted them with allegations against Mr. Sandusky. According to the grand jury, Mr. Sandusky, who was working as a volunteer coach at the school, abused the boy over a two- to three-year period before the boy revealed the abuse to his mother.
The report in The Patriot-News of Harrisburg quoted the mother as saying school officials "told me to go home and think about what I wanted to do, and I was not happy. They said I needed to think about how that would impact my son if I said something like that. I went home and got [my son] and we came to [Children and Youth Services] immediately," said the woman, who was not identified.
By law, CYS agencies must report such allegations to law enforcement authorities, and that is what triggered the investigation that led to allegations of other abuse by Mr. Sandusky.
According to the presentment, Mr. Sandusky "routinely had contact with [the accuser]" at the high school, "where the administration would call [the boy] out of activity period/study hall in the late afternoon to meet with Sandusky in a conference room. No one monitored these visits."
According to the presentment, after the boy's mother confronted them, school officials barred Mr. Sandusky from district facilities "and the matter was reported to authorities as mandated by law."
The school's assistant principal and athletic director, Steven Turchetta, declined to be interviewed by a reporter who visited the high school Tuesday.
First Published November 9, 2011 12:40 am