Convicted serial child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky is behind bars and now new questions are surfacing about what Penn State officials knew about a 2001 incident involving the former assistant football coach’s encounter with a boy in the shower, more specifically whether or not they covered the incident up.
The problem is, Sandusky sexually abused other boys in the years after the 2001 incident was allegedly reported to Penn State.
There are said to be messages indicating that former Penn State President Graham Spanier and two other former university officials knew they had a problem with Sandusky after a 2001 shower incident, but apparently first decided to handle it using a “humane” approach before contacting outside authorities whose job it is to investigate suspected abuse.
“This is a more humane and upfront way to handle this,” Gary Schultz, who was a university vice president at the time, allegedly wrote.
No records have been submitted indicating authorities were ever contacted and Sandusky was eventually charged with having sexual contact with four more boys after the 2001 incident. On June 22, Sandusky was convicted of abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
In an exchange of messages from February 26 to February 28, 2001, Spanier allegedly acknowledges Penn State could be “vulnerable” for not reporting the incident, according to two sources with knowledge of the case.
“The only downside for us is if the message (to Sandusky) isn’t ‘heard’ and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it,” Spanier purportedly writes.
The alleged e-mails among Spanier, Schultz, 62, and former Athletic Director Tim Curley, 57, never mention Sandusky by name, instead referring to him as “the subject” and “the person.” Children that Sandusky brought on campus –some of whom might have been victims — are referred to as “guests.”
The purported exchanges began 16 days after graduate assistant Mike McQueary first told Head Coach Joe Paterno on February 9, 2001, that McQueary believed he saw Sandusky make sexual contact with a boy in a locker room shower.
Penn State has already begun reaching out to attorneys representing Sandusky’s victims.
At this point none of the victims have filed any lawsuit. However,Kline, Victim 5’s attorney, said he wants to see the results of Penn State’s investigation. “Everything we saw in this trial could have been stopped by Penn State,” Kline told CNN. “This is an American tragedy of monumental proportions.”