Report: Jerry Sandusky investigated

Updated: March 31, 2011, 3:16 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

A grand jury in Pennsylvania is investigating former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on allegations of indecent assault against a teenage boy, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg (Pa.) reported Thursday.

Five people with knowledge of the case said the grand jury has been meeting for 18 months and has called witnesses including Penn State coach Joe Paterno and athletic director Tim Curley, according to the report.

A spokesman for the athletic department declined to comment Thursday on behalf of athletics and Paterno. Lisa Powers, a spokeswoman for the university, also declined to comment.

Sandusky, 67, who was an assistant coach at Penn State for 32 years and retired in 1999, did not respond to repeated attempts to contact him -- directly and through his attorney -- for comment on the allegations and the investigation, the newspaper reported.

Sandusky has not been charged. A grand jury examines accusations to determine if evidence warrants filing charges.

The state attorney general's office would neither confirm nor deny whether a grand jury was investigating the allegations, according to the report.

The investigation began in 2009, after the boy, then 15, told Keystone Central School District officials that Sandusky, then a volunteer assistant at Central Mountain High School, had touched him inappropriately during a four-year period, according to the report.

Sandusky quit as a volunteer at the high school in 2009.

The district's interim superintendent at the time, John DiNunzio, told The Patriot-News the boy's mother had reported the incident to the high school principal and football coach. "It was strictly a touching type of situation," he said.

DiNunzio, now interim superintendent at another school district, said he referred the matter to Clinton County Children and Youth Services and never heard from police afterward, according to the report.

The boy told the agency that Sandusky had inappropriate contact with him beginning when he was 10 years old, people with knowledge of the case told The Patriot-News.

The matter was eventually referred to then-state Attorney General Tom Corbett in March 2009. Corbett, now governor of Pennsylvania, declined comment through his spokesman, The Patriot-News reported.

As Penn State's defensive coordinator, Sandusky was credited for turning out top linebackers, as well as bowl game defensive strategies that helped the Nittany Lions neutralize a pair of Heisman Trophy winners -- Georgia's Herschel Walker and Miami's Vinny Testaverde -- to win national championships after the 1982 and 1986 seasons.

In 1977, Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a nonprofit organization that runs summer and year-round camp programs for Pennsylvania at-risk youth. He has retired from the organization's board of directors, according to the report.

The Second Mile's executive director, Dr. Jack Raykovitz, said in a statement issued Thursday that the organization was "shaken by the article."

"While The Second Mile is referenced in the Patriot-News article, we have been advised that neither The Second Mile nor our programs are the subject of any investigation," Raykovitz said. "Out of respect for all parties, we cannot discuss, speculate, or comment further."

Raykovitz said the organization was committed "first and foremost to the safety and well-being of the children we serve. We have zero tolerance for abuse. ... Throughout our history, there have never been allegations made with regard to misconduct occurring during any Second Mile program."

A second board member, who asked not to be named, told the Patriot-News that Sandusky had notified the board of the investigation into allegations against him.

"We all know there's an investigation going on," the board member said, according to the report.

A second investigation of Sandusky reportedly had been conducted by Penn State police in 1998, after it was alleged he inappropriately touched a then-12-year-old boy while the two were showering in Penn State's on-campus football facility, according to The Patriot-News. No charges were ever filed in that case.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.