Official: Paterno didn't do enough to stop abuse
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's state police commissioner says football coach Joe Paterno and other Penn State officials didn't do enough to try to stop suspected sexual abuse of children at the hands of a former assistant football coach.
Commissioner Frank Noonan says Paterno may have fulfilled his legal requirement to report suspected abuse by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. But Noonan says he questions "the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child."
Authorities accused Jerry Sandusky of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years through his charity for at-risk youth.
Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley are accused of failing to alert police to complaints that Sandusky was sexually abusing boys.
Local alumni wondered if the allegations detailed in a grand jury report are true, who knew of them and when.
According to court documents, Sandusky met the boys through the Second Mile program he founded to help at-risk children. The documents detail how the popular football coach allegedly assaulted the boys at home or in the athletic locker room and showers on campus at Penn State.
"We did a lot of fundraising for them and they are a fantastic organization,” said Sue Schoenfeld, a 1998 Penn State grad who now lives in the D.C. metro area. Her sorority worked with Sandusky’s charity. The allegations against its founder are heartbreaking, she says.
"You would hate to think it was to have access to boys but to not think that would be too much to believe,” Schoenfeld said.
Kara Bryan graduated from Penn State this May and now works at a Crystal City sports bar.
"I know Mr. Curley, I worked around athletics. It stinks these guys are going through this situation,” she said.
"Sickening this was going on while was I there," said Dana Doughtery, a mother of three boys who graduated from Penn in 1998.
An assistant allegedly saw Sandusky having sex with a 10-year-old boy in the locker room shower. He told head coach Joe Paterno who did not call police but told administrators Schultz and Curly.
Schultz and Curley were released on bail Monday after being charged with perjury and failure to report abuse.
Next page: Paterno calls criminal charges shocking and troubling
They weren't required to enter pleas during their first court appearance. Each was being released on $75,000 bail.
They are accused of failing to alert police to complaints that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing boys. They are also charged with lying to a state grand jury investigating the complaints.
Lawyers for the 57-year-old Curley and 62-year-old Schultz will seek to have the charges dismissed. Both Curley and Schultz stepped down after a Sunday night meeting of university trustees.
Paterno has called the criminal charges shocking and troubling. Paterno, in a statement issued Sunday evening by his son, Scott, said he's troubled that someone he thought he knew may have harmed young people. Paterno said he and wife, Sue have devoted their lives to helping young people reach their potential.
"The fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling," he said. "If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers."
Paterno referred to his grand jury testimony in which he testified that he was informed by an assistant coach in 2002 that he had witnessed an incident in the shower of the team locker room. Prosecutors have said Paterno had passed on the information to athletic director Tim Curley.
But Paterno said specific actions alleged to have occurred in the grand jury report were not relayed to him.
"It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report," Paterno said in the statement. "Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators."
Sandusky retired from his assistant's job in 1999. He is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years.