Nightly News | November 11, 2011
>>> now an nbc news investigation into the charity that jerry sandusky founded. its stated mission was to help disadvantaged children, but prosecutors have alleged sandusky repeatedly used the charity to find victims. and there are questions about whether top executives chose to look the other way. that part of the story tonight from nbc 's michael isikoff .
>> reporter: sandusky founded the second mile in 1977 to help disadvantaged kids. sandusky was the charity 's biggest booster, helping to raise millions of dollars from wealthy donors in major corporations and recruiting high profile honorary board members . when he spoke to the penn state tailgate show in 2007 he was enthusiastic about what second mile was doing for kids.
>> opportunity to see some special young people overcome some challenges in their life and go on to lead a life of excellence.
>> reporter: years before any reports of sexual abuse reached authorities, sandusky 's conduct made some second mile children uncomfortable.
>> any time we were in the car driving anywhere, his hand, it was a given that his hand would be on my thigh. and, you know, i just knew that was not the way any other adult man in my life touched me.
>> reporter: troy craig attended second mile summer camps more than 20 years ago from ages 11 to 14. he says sandusky lavished him with attention, taking him to penn state football games and introducing him to players in the locker room . he wasn't sexually abused but after a while he says there were too many hugs and too much touching.
>> i remember him coming up behind me and trying to make a joke of it but all the same feeling, kind of, no, stop it. stop that.
>> reporter: according to the grand jury report sandusky met every one of his victims through second mile programs. now there are questions about whether top charity executives here may have protected him for years, just like penn state officials are alleged to have done. the grand jury report discloses there was an investigation in 1998 into allegations that sandusky was showering and groping young boys in the penn state locker room . no charges were filed and it is not clear if charity officials were ever informed. in 2002 , jack raykovitz, the charity 's executive director was told about a new allegation involving sandusky and a young boy in the locker room shower. the charity took no action. sandusky continued to participate in second mile programs. nfl hall-of-famer franco harris , a second mile honorary board member , is furious about that.
>> and i don't understand it. and those are the answers that we need to find.
>> reporter: pennsylvania governor tom corbett also wants answers.
>> i need to know what the charity , what the board members knew. that's a determination people will be looking into.
>> reporter: the charity declined to answer any questions this week. in a statement posted on its website it says it first learned of an investigation into sandusky in 2002 , but that penn state officials informed second mile there was no finding of wrongdoing. but second mile severed all ties with sandusky in 2008 when more allegations surfaced. we immediately made the decision to separate him from all of our program activities involving children. the statement continued, we have done everything in our power to cooperate with law enforcement officials and we will continue to do so. michael isikoff , nbc news, state college , pennsylvania.