The Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Scandal, the Second Mile Foundation, and Penn State

By Michael Collins

The current focus on Pennsylvania State University, its football program, and former coach Joe Paterno will be replaced by a more pervasive sexual assault scandal in the coming days and weeks. At-risk children and their often disadvantaged single parents were delivered up to a relentless sexual predator with exhibitionist tendencies as described in the findings of a special Commonwealth of Pennsylvania grand jury. Link

The relentless deviate, former PSU defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, is accused of sexually assaulting children for years. According to the grand jury, he gained easy access to children and early adolescents through a foundation he founded in 1977, the Second Mile Foundation. He continued the assaults at his home and in the PSU showers on at least one occasion. The foundation serves over 100,000 at-risk youth. Sandusky started the foundation as a group home for “troubled boys” in 1977. Since hiring Jack Raykovitz, PhD, a licensed psychologist, as president, the foundation has grown into a multimillion enterprise serving over 100,000 children throughout the state.

A picture of alleged serial abuser Sandusky came into clear focus in the Pennsylvania Statewide Investigating Grand Jury release of findings about victims 1 through 8. Sandusky selected the eight boys from the population of those served by the Second Mile Foundation, it is alleged. He would start with mentoring, move onto hosting the boys for overnights in a bedroom at his home, and initiate oral copulation and anal sex, according to the grand jury report.

A critical fact listed in by the grand jury concerns the legal counsel for both the foundation and PSU. Wendell Courtney was the legal counsel for both PSU and the Second Mile Foundation during the period covering 1998 through the end of 2009. Courtney served as PSU’s primary legal counsel as a member of the law firm of McQuaide-Blasko. In January 2010, PSU hired a full time, in house counsel. During Courtney’s service to the organizations, Second Mile founder, PSU coach (in 1998), and PSU coach emeritus (in 2002) Sandusky was twice investigated on charges of sexual assault. Neither investigation resulted in either organization terminating Sandusky’s employment or access to facilities.

Where is the Sexual Assault Scandal Headed?

Penn State Scandal: Jerry Sandusky Rumored To Have ‘Pimped’ Boys To Donors: REPORT Huffington Post headline, November 10

This is a remarkable headline since it features rumors of incomplete investigations by unidentified reporters. The story that HuffPost says should break soon concerns Sandusky’s Second Mile Foundation and its donors. There were other reports concerning this new direction of the story.

The foundation raises millions of dollars a year from corporate and individual donors in Pennsylvania for the most part. Funds support educational and “leadership” programs and retreats for at-risk youth throughout the state. (Image: from video)

The 2010 foundation annual report features a county map of Pennsylvania with total individuals serviced by county. For some reason, the totals are about even for individuals served in Allegheny County, population 1.2 million, and Centre County, population, 153,000 (and home of PSU).

Was Jerry Sandusky procuring at-risk youth for foundation donors as suggested in the headline? If so which donors? Where and when did this happen?

PSU summarily fired the university president, senior executives, and Joe Paterno this week. As of today, long time Second Mile president, Jack Raykovitz, PhD, retains his position as foundation president. The members of the Honorary Board of Trustees, a list of Pennsylvania notables, are in the uncomfortable position of endorsing a tarnished foundation. Major donors listed in the annual report are seen as offering public financial support for a foundation that remains passive despite the clear need for organizational change.

What about Victims 1 through 8 (and more)?

We have no way of knowing the level of help received by the reported Sandusky victims reviewed by the statewide grand jury. Any delay to much needed evaluation and treatment is a true shame.

There is a wealth of data concerning the mid and long term impact of adult sexual assaults on children. In summary, victims of childhood sexual abuse have a much higher incidence of depression (major depression, dysthymia), anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance related disorders. Bipolar youth are more likely to have their first mood episode earlier as a result of sexual assault as are youth with schizophrenia.

Long term problems trusting any authority (Judith Herman, MD) are common if the assailant is a trusted individual, as Sandusky was at the start of his alleged abusive relationships.

Sexual assaults victims are also more likely to be victimized again (revictimization) than are those without this history.

The full impact of adult sexual assault of children is inherently limited by the reluctance of victims to report the crimes.

At the very least, the reported Sandusky victims deserve immediate assistance with medical and psychotherapeutic care, without any strings attached by the organizations that so thoroughly neglected to identify, report, and stop the abuse. Victims should not be asked to wave future compensation to receive this care.

Any victims associated with programs of Second Mile Foundation, Sandusky, or PSU should have free court guardians appointed to assure that they’re not victimized again by the wealthy and powerful through coercive legal tactics. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should establish a fund immediately and a master of the fund who from out of state. Trials and settlements must be handled by competent courts outside of Pennsylvania.

The focus needs to shift to immediate identification and help for all victims and prompt investigation and prosecution of perpetrators.


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Michael Collins

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  • Missing DA investigated Sandusky case

    I spoke with Detective Matthew Rickard, who has been leading the investigation into the 2005 disappearance of the elected District Attorney of Center County Pennsylvania, Ray Gricar.

    In 1998, Gricar decided not to pursue charges after the mother of a young man reported to Penn State Police that her son had been inappropriately touched by Jerry Sandusky as they showered together in the Penn State locker room.

    Rickard tells me he is currently working to see if there could be any possible link between Gricar’s disappearance and the currently charged activity against Penn State athletic officials, but says there has been nothing to suggest Gricar — who is still missing — had knowledge of any of the other alleged activities.

    Read: Shocking details from the Penn State grand jury report

    Although the conspiracy theories are being pushed forward, Rickard tells me, from knowing Gricar himself, and the type of prosecutor he was, there must not have been the evidence to prosecute Sandusky back in 1998. Rickard admits that is speculation on his part, and is in the midst of finding out more information on Gricar’s investigation of Sandusky back in 1998.

    In April, 2005 Gricar disappeared from the District Attorney’s office never to be seen again. He called his girlfriend and said he was going to take a leisurely drive that afternoon. His abandoned car was found near an antiques store in Lewisberg, Pennsylvania. His computer was found later in the Susquehanna River, but the hard drive had been taken out. Months later when the river banks receded, the hard drive was found about 100 yards from where the computer had been located. It was determined by investigators that the hard drive had been intentionally removed from the computer and repeated tests, including one done by the FBI, could not retrieve any data. The hard drive was too damaged.

  • “All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing.”

    Those sentences describe our current economic and environmental situation exactly, and they describe the roots of true terrorism. I’m so glad for the Occupy Wall Street movement because it seems to be looking for moral changes rather than direct regulatory changes.

  • The Gricar angle is the ‘sizzle’ for the story since it raises a question. I’m glad people are pointing that out. Who knows what he was up to or what burden his conscience carried. He had a confession of sorts from Sandusky, overheard conversation by officers. But he did nothing.

    I got a kick out of the remark about conspiracy theories. Any crime that is not done solo involves a conspiracy between two or more to perform an illegal act. Prosecutors use it all the time.

    This is worth watching, imho.
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  • Don’t think Jerry’s tome will be moving up the charts anytime soon.

    Take a look at the video of Sandusky linked in the 1st paragraph. He looks almost hyperactive with these strange contortions. And then there’s this one, which is just outrageous. I was going to use a screen shot of it but wisdom prevailed (if for just a short time;)

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  • I deliberately chose it as the first image here because it is so moving and insightful. Herman’s book, Trauma and Recovery had and continues to have a profoundly positive influence on trauma treatment. She is a clinician first, which shows, and quite a decent person.

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  • This is what one of the boys told his mother when she discovered Sandusky’s sexual abuse of her son (interview on ABCs Good Morning America).

    If all the sexual predator asks of other adults is that they do nothing, then Jerry Sandusky has been one of the more successful pederasts. The police investigators in 1998 listened in on Sandusky’s admitting to a mother of one of his victims that he showered with her son, lathered him up, gave him a bear hug, and “might” have touched his genitals. Of course he said he felt terrible about it, couldn’t expect her to forgive him, and just wished he were dead. This is standard behavior for child molesters who are caught, yet nothing happened to Sandusky. The police for some reason didn’t press charges, and in 2005 the prosecutor on the case mysteriously disappeared.

    It seems very likely that this investigation caused Penn State to drop Sandusky from consideration for the head coach job there, but the school did nothing about the allegations against him and continued to welcome him and his Second Mile juvenile entourage to games, training sessions, and other campus events. The head of the Second Mile program knew of the investigation but did nothing to remove the founder of the organization from his position of leadership.

    Sandusky now had evidence that neither the police, his charity program, nor the university would stand in his way as a sexual predator. He began to expand the boundaries of his activities, bringing his teenage boys to the university training rooms and after workouts with them, showering with them. Twice he was observed by university officials to be showering alone with young boys (one of them age 10), and having either anal or oral sex with them. No one stopped him, even when reports of this behavior reached the president of the university. The only thing that happened was that he was told he could no longer bring young boys to campus. This did not prevent him from having sex with boys in the basement of his home as recently as 2006.

    The remarkable part of this story is the many years of “looking aside” that all the adults around him fell back upon when learning of his pederasty. While society has done a better job – maybe even a good job – of dealing with sexual predators outside of organizational structures (like men who lurk near school playgrounds), society has no answer yet to the predators who operate within these organizational structures.

    Organizations which deal with children and young adults, such as schools, churches, youth charities, social groups like the Boy Scouts or Girl Guides, and orphanages, have an ongoing and we might say chronic problem with men within the organizations who sexually abuse the very children they are responsible for serving.

    This, of course, involves the ultimate betrayal of the authority given to these men by the organization itself. The men themselves do not have inherent authority in most cases; they are given an implicit aura of trust because they are priests or teachers or coaches. Jerry Sandusky is probably closest in behavior to Fr. Maciel, who founded the Legionaires of Christ and used his enormous power as beloved founder and leader to perpetrate crimes against young seminarians. Jerry Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a charity for troubled, abandoned, homeless and run-away youth, which has served over 100,000 children in Pennsylvania. These sort of men are apparently very difficult to stop. The organization often gives them complete cover and of course turns a blind eye to their abuse, even when, as often happens, the evidence within the organization becomes overwhelmingly obvious.

    There is another problem within large organizations that is well-recognized when it comes to risk management, and that is the problem of “too many eyes” looking at a situation and trying to detect flaws. This can happen across the organization at the same managerial level, where multiple people are asked to sign off on a proposal, with the expectation any one of them will find a serious flaw if it exists. When happens in reality is none of these people looks carefully at the proposal for flaws, because they are expecting someone else to do so.

    The problem also can occur up the chain of command, as happened at Penn State, where various managers refer the problem to the next higher authority, expecting them to deal with it. On this basis someone like Joe Paterno can say to himself that if the university president has looked at the situation, surely he has done the right thing by the law and by conscience. Unfortunatley the university president is saying to himself, someone below me is recommending this particular course of action (essentially, to do nothing), and if all these people have looked at the situation and ultimately recommended this, it can’t be wrong.

    That is how you get a Jerry Sandusky roaming around the locker rooms at Penn State, associating with people who have known him for most of their adult lives, and who know he has “a bit of a problem”, but is otherwise a nice guy who has done enormous good elsewhere. They assume and hope his “problem” is under control, just as they assume all the legal niceties and requirements of managing someone like that have been dealt with somewhere else in the institution.

    Meanwhile, all the victims see is that no one in the institution has put a stop to Jerry Sandusky’s sexual predations. They conclude quite correctly “You just can’t tell Jerry no.”

  • human sexuality is extremely diseased. The fact that many turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse of minors as well as the students’ willingness to overlook Paterno’s complicity indicates that our society has made people immune to the suffering of children (and to that of women for that matter).

    Sexual inequality is “The Mother of all Inequalities”.
    Liberate female sexuality and you will eliminate racism, homophobia, financial greed, and violence.

  • Trying to refocus the story theme on the criminal behavior and needed help for the victims. Since it wasn’t just Jerry Sandusky, we’re talking about the “C” word – conspiracy to commit crimes. They need someone like Bugliosi as special prosecutor. That would send shivers up the right spines:)

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  • imho, You are 100% correct about the 1998 incident (and the 2002 as well) giving Sandusky permission to carry on. I suspect that the following will emerge. Sandusky was indeed providing boys to donors and the power of those donors so far outstripped Paterno and the university president, he couldn’t be touched. If Bugliosi isn’t available for the job, maybe Inspector Javert would take a shot.
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  • Penn State officials weren’t only people who failed to report Sandusky

    McClatchy, By Curtis Tate, November 11

    State College, PA — While the grand jury investigation into child sexual abuse at Penn State revealed that university authorities had knowledge of crimes allegedly committed by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, it also showed that others knew, too, and didn’t call police.

    “There’s plenty of responsibility to go around on all fronts,” said Pamela Pine, the founder of Stop the Silence, a nonprofit group in Glenn Dale, Md., that calls attention to child abuse. “We should all be kicking ourselves.”

    But the grand jury presentment shows that janitors, teachers and parents had direct or indirect knowledge of Sandusky’s alleged crimes. As the investigation goes on it is likely to emerge that still others had at least some inkling that something was terribly wrong but remained silent.

  • …is that the bystander do nothing.” Judith Herman MD

    One irony of this is McQueary. He’s a big, robust guy who could have thrown Sandusky through the wall. I can understand that he was stunned, for a moment, but, good grief, how could he walk away with that going on and not intervene?

    It is pretty clear, to me at least, that Sandusky was the top dog on campus. He did this in a reckless and public way and they were all afraid to stop him or, those who were not paid the price.

    Interesting that he got out on bail. If a sexual offender is in jail and his/her sentence is up, the state can keep the offender beyond the end of the sentence based on mental health reasons. Why doesn’t that apply preemptively? He would also certainly be a flight risk. Can’t imagine the firm defending him.

    Good followup from McClatchy. I hope they put someone from the Washington DC Bureau on this. That group is capable of some fearless work.
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  • In McQueary’s case, there are even more factors to consider.

    First of all, most pedophiles don’t perform their sexual attacks in public. Sandusky might have been something of an exhibitionist, or maybe pushing the boundaries of what he could get away with, once he knew the university wouldn’t stop him. Some psychologists might say he was pushing the limits in order to get caught.

    When McQueary turned into the shower to investigate what he thought were the sounds of people having sex, he probably expected to see two undergraduates. He was a 28 year old graduate student and was mentally in authoritarian mode when it came to undergrads. He would have been able to tell them to stop it and clear on out of the gym. What he saw was beyond expectation – an esteemed member of the football program, second in power only to Joe Paterno, a nationally known figure in the professional football world, and someone certainly superior to him, having sex with an underage boy. I think mentally he instantly went from authoritation mode to deferential mode, since he had spent 10 years being deferential to Sandusky. Besides that, there is the ick factor that one feels when coming across two people having sex – the observer wants to get out of there as fast as possible. Watching a 60 year old authority figure having sex had to be ickier still – like accidentally going into your parents room at the wrong time. I wouldn’t be surprised if McQueary muttered an apology and left quickly.

    This is my best effort at exculpating McQueary from taking at-the-moment, instantaneous, impulse action to stop Sandusky. I suspect most people in McQueary’s situation at that moment would do what he did. Had the circumstances been somewhat different McQueary might have acted spontaneously, for example if he had come across Sandusky doing the same thing to a 10 year old in a public garage off campus – someplace that removed the advantage Sandusky had when he was doing something in the environment which afforded him authority over almost everybody else. The second circumstance might be if McQueary had himself been the victim of sexual abuse; he then might have had a gut reaction of rage at what he was witnessing and be able to act to stop it because he felt immediately the pain that was involved.

    Now here’s the part I don’t get and which I don’t think can be exonerated. Why did McQueary then leave the building? With up to five minutes reflection, his rational brain should have kicked in and he should have overcome the shock of what he saw. He should have realized this was a crime in progress involving sex with a minor and something had to be done then and there to save and protect the child. Maybe too he could summon up some emotional sympathy for the boy, and disgust at what was happening, any of which would allow him to overcome his deference to Sandusky. It wouldn’t have taken much to physically stand up to him, or if he didn’t want to do that, use his cell phone (they were around in 2002) or an office landline to call campus security.

    Maybe his rational brain got too rational, and he calculated that if he did that, his career in college football was over. This is not an unreasonable assumption; everything we’ve seen about Penn State so far is that the school was not going to tolerate someone jeopardizing the football program. But that sort of thinking leads us right back into the observer taking the gutless decision to do nothing when confronted by a molester.

    Even though McQueary has escaped any legal punishment, and is considered by the prosecutors to be such a credible witness that they have based their perjury charges against Curley and Schultz on McQueary’s testimony – despite all this, McQueary’s career in football seems likely to be ruined. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and made the wrong decision. He’ll be dogged by this incident the rest of his life.

  • That sports is more important than the well being of a child? We’re seriously screwed.

    Sexual inequality is “The Mother of all Inequalities”.
    Liberate female sexuality and you will eliminate racism, homophobia, financial greed, and violence.

  • says Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail.

    The Greeks built temples to the gods. The Romans constructed roads and aqueducts. The United States built railroads, skyscrapers, majestic post-office buildings and public libraries. Today, it builds temples of worship called football stadiums. This may not be the end of empire, but sometimes it feels that way.

    From College football is America’s true religion

    Sexual inequality is “The Mother of all Inequalities”.
    Liberate female sexuality and you will eliminate racism, homophobia, financial greed, and violence.

  • That analysis makes a lot of sense. We don’t have the advantage of the grand jury. I’m sure that there were questions about his actions as part of the hearing, there would need to be in order to qualify his person and testimony.

    There’s a process of dissociation that takes place when people encounter something totally outside their ability to integrate. The emotional and cognitive reaction is stopped due to the shock and the individual goes somewhere else, protected against what they’ve seen or experienced. Whatever the rumors about Sandusky, the scene must have caused a total meltdown for McQueary, thus the dissociation and delayed response. The prosecutors would have probably understood this since it’s fairly common, thus giving McQueary a break. Unfortunately for him, he won’t get that level of understanding from others. Another victim of the ‘big man on campus’ who did what he liked, when and where he felt like it.
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  • Decadence correlates with the decline and all of empires. The intellectual decadence of worshiping football reflects all sorts of problems, mostly among the ruing elite. This is a cram down by the elite. The proof of that is Los Angeles. When the Raiders returned from LA to Oakland, LA had no professional football team. Considering that this is a huge, profitable, and desirable market, the decades that past show that a) LA can happily live without professional football and b) the elite aren’t that smart (since they must have a team in LA).

    The worship of college football is truly pathetic. PSU is now tarnished as an academic institution for what should be a secondary activity, football. People need to find some outlet other than football, something more substantive.
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  • “Fight or flight”, some psychologists call it. Given the circumstances, just about any junior employee or student would flee the room as a first reaction.

    The reaction somewhat later is a different thing altogether. Not only did McQueary fail on this score, but everybody above him failed even worse. We still don’t know if anyone asked about the identity of the boy with the intention of helping him. We do know that Paterno, McQueary and others tolerated and maybe even welcomed Sandusky’s ongoing presence in the locker room and on the field, bringing along with him his young proteges. Here we seem to have utter ignorance from all concerned that pedophiles don’t stop on their own.

    Some people say Paterno should have known all about pedophiles from being a devout Catholic; I suggested as much earlier. In thinking about it, I wonder if the last place anyone would learn about pedophiles in the past 10 or so years was the Catholic Church. This is not a topic that priests were going to discuss in detail from the pulpit. I’m sure many of them made deep and sincere public apologies in their sermons for the behavior of their Church, and asked both for forgiveness for their behavior, and understanding and help for the victims. But as to the details of what went on and how pedophiles exploit institutions and their authority for access to children, that was probably rarely discussed. Paterno would have had to learn this on his own reading the press or the internet – if he was interested. He seemed to avoid the topic as if it was too unpleasant for his mind to grasp – otherwise how could he tolerate Sandusky’s presence for more than 10 years from the first incident?

  • capitalist psychology.

    Sexual inequality is “The Mother of all Inequalities”.
    Liberate female sexuality and you will eliminate racism, homophobia, financial greed, and violence.

  • McClatchy news services
    Published: 12/11/11 12:05 am

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The head of Penn State University’s police department who oversaw a 1998 investigation of possible sexual abuse by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky once lived three houses down from the defensive coordinator, property records show.

    Chief Thomas Harmon took over leading the department just one month before a detective began looking into whether the chief’s former neighbor sexually abused two 11-year-old boys in a campus shower. Harmon later ordered the case closed when the Centre County, Pa., district attorney decided not to file criminal charges.

    Sandusky retired from Penn State a year later.

    The personal connection between the chief and the architect of “Linebacker U” now has lawyers for Sandusky’s alleged victims questioning what role those ties may have played in closing the 1998 investigation, which they argue was a missed opportunity to stop Sandusky from assaulting more children.

    “It reflects how incestuous the cast of characters are,” said Michael Boni, who represents the person identified as Victim 1 in the Pennsylvania grand jury report released last month. “It’s circular. The fact that they were neighbors ought to be investigated. Did Harmon think, ‘I shouldn’t pursue this matter’ because he’s a friend or neighbor? These things have to be looked at.”

    Sandusky faces more than 50 charges of child sex abuse involving 10 young boys over a 15-year span. Most of the assaults detailed in two grand jury reports allegedly occurred after the 1998 investigation was closed.

    Sandusky has maintained his innocence.

    Read more:

  • State College – Centre Daily Times, By Matt Carroll, March 25

    A State College psychologist warned police in 1998 that Jerry Sandusky’s behavior fit the profile of a likely pedophile.

    Alycia Chambers, who treated one of Sandusky’s alleged victims, told Penn State police at the time that Sandusky showered with a then-11-year-old boy and grabbed and bear-hugged him.

    In light of her findings, Chambers said Saturday she was surprised more wasn’t done by authorities at the time.

    This despite an evaluation of the alleged victim by a second psychologist, who concluded Sandusky did not fit the profile of a pedophile.

    Chambers said her initial concerns turned to horror in November when Sandusky was charged with 50 counts of child sex abuse involving 10 alleged victims and dating back more than a decade.

    “Who could be anything but horrified in knowing this went unchecked for 14 years,” Chambers told the Centre Daily Times on Saturday.

    The psychological evaluations, released along with internal police documents Saturday morning by NBC, raise new questions about the 1998 police investigation into Sandusky.

    Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers, said Saturday that the university would have no comment due to ongoing investigations.

    Timeline of 1998 investigation of Jerry Sandusky

  • Sanctions include $60 million fine, 4 -year bowl ban, vacating wins from 1998-2011

    AP. July 23

    Indianapolis, IN – Penn State football was all but dismantled Monday by an NCAA ruling that wiped away 14 years of coach Joe Paterno’s victories and imposed a mountain of fines and penalties, crippling a program whose pedophile assistant coach spent years molesting children, sometimes on school property.

    The sanctions by the governing body of college sports also imposed unprecedented fines of $60 million, ordered Penn State to sit out the postseason for four years, capped scholarships at 20 below the normal limit for four years and placed football on five years’ probation.

    Current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

    The NCAA’s sanctions following the worst scandal in the history of college football stopped short of delivering the “death penalty” – shutting down the sport completely. It actually did everything but kill it.

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