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Jerry Sandusky says police interviewed him only once

In a four-hour interview, Jerry Sandusky, in addition to denying charges that he molested young boys, shed light on several key aspects of the investigation and the actions, or inaction, of officials at Penn State University and the Second Mile charity.
/ Source: The New York Times

In a four-hour interview, Jerry Sandusky, in addition to explaining his life’s work with children and denying charges that he molested young boys, shed light on several key aspects of the Pennsylvania attorney general’s investigation of the crimes he is accused of and the actions, or inaction, of officials at Penn State University and the Second Mile charity where Sandusky had worked for decades.

Sandusky’s potentially criminal interactions with children first came to the attention of law enforcement authorities in 1998, after the mother of an 11-year-old boy complained to the university police that Sandusky had showered with her son. How serious that investigation was, and who at Penn State was aware of it, are two questions hanging over the Sandusky case.

Sandusky, in the interview this week, said he was interviewed by the police only one time about the incident, and that the investigation was closed “within a day or two” of that interview. He said the investigation seemed to be so quickly resolved that he did not feel it necessary to inform officials at the Second Mile. The charity works with thousands of disadvantaged children every year.

He denied what has become widespread speculation — that his retirement from coaching football at Penn State in 1999 was related to the 1998 investigation; rather, he said, his retirement stemmed in part from his realization that he would never be made head coach. After the investigation, he said, university officials discussed other opportunities with him, including a position as an assistant athletic director.

One of the senior Penn State officials indicted in the case was Tim Curley, the athletic director. He is charged with lying under oath about what he was told about another complaint made against Sandusky, this one in 2002. A graduate assistant coach had told Joe Paterno, the football coach, that he had seen Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the football facility’s showers. Paterno, under oath, testified that he took that information to Curley. Curley also met with the graduate assistant, Mike McQueary. (Curley has taken an administrative leave to defend himself against the perjury charges.)

But when Curley appeared before a grand jury hearing evidence in the case, he testified that he had only been told that Sandusky might have been inappropriately “horsing around” with a boy in the showers, but not that any kind of sexual assault had happened. Prosecutors have called that assertion a lie.

In the interview this week, Sandusky talked for the first time about his dealings with Curley in 2002. Sandusky described Curley as “concerned” about what he had been told. He said Curley told him that someone had told him about “inappropriate behavior in the shower.” Sandusky said he provided Curley with the name of the child he thought was in question, but that Curley never acted on that information.

Sandusky said Curley did inform him that he could no longer bring children to the university’s locker room facilities. But Sandusky said the idea that Curley had taken away his keys to the locker room — the graduate assistant testified that Curley told him he had done so to punish Sandusky — was not true.

“I still have my keys,” Sandusky said. “And I still went in there and worked out.”

Sandusky, in the interview, said his interaction with children involved with the Second Mile charity was not curtailed until 2008, when he informed the charity’s executive director, Jack Raykovitz, that he had become the subject of a molestation investigation after allegations by a high school freshman that Sandusky had mentored.

Raykovitz, Sandusky said, ended Sandusky’s work with children, but allowed him to continue to serve as a fund-raiser and in other roles. Sandusky said neither he nor Raykovitz immediately informed the charity’s directors about the accusation. Rather, Sandusky said, a decision was made to “see how this, you know, plays out.” But eventually, he said he and Raykovitz decided the board needed to be told. It is unclear how long the board was kept in the dark.

Raykovitz has recently resigned from the Second Mile. His lawyer, Kevin L. Hand, called Sandusky’s version of events inaccurate, but refused to say how.

This story, "Sandusky Describes the Steps Taken in Inquiries Over the Years," originally appeared in The New York Times.