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Sandusky’s Defense Revealed

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photos

In a dramatic opening day in court, the ex-Penn State coach was confronted with an alleged victim—while his lawyers claimed that his accusers had a financial motive. Diane Dimond reports.

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, the site of the sexual abuse trial of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky is a small town that somehow seems stuck in the 1950s. Down the hill from the Centre County courthouse is a faded Rexall Drug and Hallmark card shop, a worship and Bible study storefront, and the Bellefonte Elks Lodge #1094. Kitty-corner to the courthouse is a seniors’ residence with a second-floor balcony, where curious residents smoke as they watch the media flurry below.


Accuser: Sandusky Treated Me Like GF

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Man says he was showered with gifts for two years.

A 28-year-old male took the witness stand Monday in the Jerry Sandusky trial, claiming the former Penn State football assistant coach had treated him “like his girlfriend” for more than two years, giving him a plethora of gifts. Sandusky, 68, denies the 52 counts brought against him by 10 boys over the course of 15 years. The man said he was 12 and 13 at the time of his alleged encounters with Sandusky, which he says happened more than 40 times and were “very uncomfortable.” The accuser went on to say Sandusky put his hand on his knee every time they were in a car together, which he said he “could not stand.” The man shared a letter in the court that he says Sandusky wrote to him that says “Love never ends.”

Read it at MSNBC


Jury Shown Photos of Accusers

Patrick Smith

As trial begins Monday.

Jerry Sandusky’s alleged victims were given faces on Monday. As trial proceedings against the disgraced former Nittany Lions coach opened in Pennsylvania, prosecutors showed photos of the accusers to the seven women and five men of the jury. Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan III described the activities Sandusky is supposed to have engaged in with the 10 accusers in graphic terms, calling the onetime Penn State hero “a serial predator.” McGettigan said the activities took place “not over days, not over weeks, not even over months, but in some cases over years.” Sandusky faces 52 sexual-abuse charges spanning a period of 15 years.

Read it at The Associated Press

Penn State Trial

Sandusky’s Biggest Mysteries

Nabil K. Mark, Centre Daily Times / Getty Images

A missing district attorney. No charges filed after multiple accusations. As jury selection begins in the trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, Diane Dimond reports on the convoluted case’s strangest twists.

The whispers about Jerry Sandusky have ricocheted around Centre County, Pa., since at least 1998, when allegations of child sexual abuse first surfaced.The district attorney at the time, Ray Gricar, took the case of the popular Penn State assistant football coach to a grand jury, and the resulting indictment accused Sandusky of sexually touching a young boy while they were both naked. Also revealed: Sandusky, in trying to apologize to the boy’s mother, told her, “I wish I were dead.


No Pseudonyms in Sandusky Trial

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Judge rules Monday.

Jerry Sandusky’s alleged victims will have to use their own names in court, Judge John Cleland ruled in Pennsylvania on Monday. The judge also said that no form of communication—including tweets or other electronic media—will be allowed from the courtroom. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday for the case, in which the former Penn State assistant football coach stands accused of having sexually abused 10 boys. Sandusky faces 52 charges spread out over 15 years. The former coach, who has been confined to his home pending trial, has denied the charges. Two hundred fifty reporters have registered to attend Sandusky’s trial, according to The Associated Press.

Read it at The Associated Press


Early Warning Signs Revealed In Jerry Sandusky’s 1998 Psychologist Report

More than a decade ago, a psychologist found that former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky exhibited a likely pedophile's pattern, raising new questions about how the university handled the situation. Internal college documents from a 1998 police investigation show that Dr. Alycia A. Chambers made the findings after interviewing one of Sandusky's alleged victims with whom Sandusky showered. Chambers recently told NBC News that there was very little doubt in her mind that Sandusky was a predator and that she thought her report would be enough that authorities would keep a close eye on Sandusky, who some 13 years later is charged with more than 50 counts of sexual assault.


Joe Paterno’s No Martyr

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

We shouldn’t forget the former Penn State football coach’s highlights, but his willful inaction on Sandusky cannot be dismissed as an incidental lapse—and his death shouldn’t make him a victim, says Buzz Bissinger.

Joe Paterno’s death Sunday morning from complications of cancer at the age of 85 is no more or less tragic than any other death. All dying is sorrow. People should remember Paterno any way they choose, with prayers or love or tears—or yes, continued anger.But the former Penn State football coach should not be turned into a martyr. He should not be made into a victim because of the circumstances of his dismissal by the university board of trustees on Nov.


Can Anybody Defend Sandusky?

Gene J. Puskar

While Sandusky shocked the world by forgoing a preliminary hearing, his lawyer insists they’re in 'a fight to the death.' But experts say no defense team or strategy will be able to save the ex-coach.

The abridged version of the Jerry Sandusky saga goes something like this:Ten alleged victims, many of whom have claimed repeated instances of sexual molestation.A disastrous interview with Bob Costas, in which Sandusky, 67, hesitated when asked whether he is sexually attracted to young boys.A preliminary hearing in which observers expected the former Penn State assistant football coach, charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse, to be torn to shreds by the testimony of his accusers.

Sex-Abuse Survivor

My Letter to a Coward

Centre Daily Times / MCT / Landov

In a note to the disgraced Penn State coach, Gretl Claggett, who was molested by a family friend as a girl, tells Sandusky: man up. It’s not too late to do the right thing.

Jerry:I’m not a football fan. Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea who you were. But after watching your interview with Bob Costas and reading the grand- jury presentment, I’m certain I know you.Your denial of any real wrongdoing on national TV has spurred other alleged victims to step forward. Attorneys say that it “re-traumatized” these young men. I’ve no doubt this is true, because it dredged up feelings about my perpetrator—a man who, when my mother confronted him, said, “I can explain.


My Husband the Pedophile

Eric Gay / AP Photo

Seven years ago, Darlene Ellison’s charismatic ex-husband was arrested for sex-related crimes he hid for over a decade. Now, she reveals how Jerry Sandusky’s wife may have been kept in the dark as well.

When news of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s alleged sex crimes broke, I froze in my steps. My stomach knotted. A fog seemed to fill my head, and all I could think was “It’s happening again.” Then “I wonder if he has a wife and kids." I wasn’t reacting as a college-football fan; I was reacting as the ex-wife of a pedophile.Just shy of seven years ago, my life and the lives of my two children were turned upside down. The man I had been married to for more than a decade had been arrested as a part of an FBI sting to bring down NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association, an advocacy group for pedophiles that supports an “end to the extreme oppression of men and boys in mutually consensual relationships.


Why Penn State Is So Powerful

Matthew O'Haren / Icon SMI / Newscom

The university’s football program brings millions of dollars into Pennsylvania, with one home game alone pumping some $59 million into the local economy. Small wonder the school has felt entitled for so long.

It was a football program dubbed the “Greatest Show on Earth”—a display of scholastic pride that could move even the most cynical observer. The thumping music, the white T-shirts blanketing the stands, the jumping cheer that shook the stadium’s concrete foundation—when the Nittany Lions would play those home games, seven or eight times a year, it was a show so awesome it required a show-runner to orchestrate it.But the power of Penn State football extended far beyond its beloved Beaver Stadium (which happens to be the second-largest stadium in the country)—a point made painfully clear in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.


Penn State’s New Whistleblower

Paul Battaglia / AP Photos (inset);

Former VP of student affairs Vickey Triponey says she was ousted from the university after butting heads with football god Joe Paterno and trying to hold players to the same standards as other students.

This is how long it takes to become a celebrity in the Penn State saga: exactly one day. On Monday, Vicky Triponey was living in South Carolina in anonymity. By Tuesday, she’d made the front page of The Wall Street Journal. ESPN was calling. Reporters had shown up at her door.Triponey was vice president of student affairs at Penn State from 2003 to 2007—and allegedly was fired after butting heads with football god Joe Paterno, when she tried to punish a number of his players for crimes that ranged from bar fights to sexual assault.


Penn State's Toxic Boys' Club

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

It’s easy to make the argument that close-knit, insular groups of men can do bad things (think: the Catholic Church). But in the Penn State scandal, would a female presence have made things any different? Jessica Bennett and Jacob Bernstein report.

It was after a tough loss in 1991, during a particularly rough game against the University of Texas, that a reporter asked Penn State football god Joe Paterno what he was going to do next. “I’m going to go home and beat up my wife,” he joked to a roomful of stunned reporters.It was another JoePa faux pax, as sportswriters put it—an all-too-common slip of the tongue by a man whose resignation was demanded, on several occasions, by the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Organization for Women (whose president is an alum).


My Life at Penn State

Seth Wenig / AP Photo

Former Nittany Lions basketball star John Amaechi reflects on meeting Jerry Sandusky—and what must change about college sports.

When I took my official visit to Penn State, the basketball coaches and academic advisers immediately got the measure of me, and one of the first facets of Penn State I was made aware of was The Second Mile. I fell in love with Penn State from that first day on campus. Lauded in my visit as part opportunity, part obligation of my future "star-status," The Second Mile was presented as a chance to "give back" while learning how to wield the burgeoning fame that came with being a sports star on Penn State’s campus.


The Grand Jury vs. Sandusky

AP Photo

In his interview with Bob Costas on NBC, Jerry Sandusky denied he is a pedophile and said he’s innocent of all child-molestation charges in the Penn State scandal. The grand jury’s report—23 pages of ‘findings of fact’ that cite allegations dating back to 1994—tells a different story, the disturbing details of which will likely be used against Sandusky in court. Page numbers are in parentheses.

Back-Cracking, Fondling at SleepoversGrand Jury:Many of the victims of molestation at Sandusky’s hands, all of whom he met through his Second Mile foundation, included details in their testimonies to the jury about how Sandusky frequently invited them over for sleepovers at his home in Centre County, Pa. Victim 1, who claimed he was 11 or 12 years old when he met Sandusky through the Second Mile, said Sandusky would frequently come into his bedroom and “crack his back” after he’d turned out the light.


Penn State's Secretive Culture

We Are All Penn State

We Are All Penn State

It wasn't just university leadership that enabled Jerry Sandusky. It was a system that discourages rocking the boat at all costs.


Penn State's Veil of Secrecy


Penn State Begins Soul-Searching


Penn State’s New Whistleblower


Why Penn State Is So Powerful

Sandusky: The Lawyers Speak

After Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse, both his lawyer and the prosecutor who put him away spoke about the case.

Full Coverage

Dispatches from the Sandusky Trial

Sandusky Guilty

Sandusky Guilty

It took 21 hours for a jury to find the ex-Penn State coach guilty on 45 of 48 charges.

Day Eight

Sandusky Son's Bombshell

Day Seven

Sandusky’s Last Mile

Day Six

Dottie Defends Her Man

Day Five

Sandusky Defense Flails

Day Four

‘Was Mrs. Sandusky Home?’

Day Three

Sandusky Gets Steamrolled

Jerry Sandusky Speaks Out

Jerry Sandusky spoke to the New York Times at length this weekend and he proved once again that his lawyer is delusional for letting his client anywhere near a video camera.


A Coach's Legacy

Paterno’s Lying Ways

Paterno’s Lying Ways

Emails from the Penn State probe show JoePa helped decide not to report Jerry Sandusky to authorities—and why ‘liar’ should be added to his legacy, says Buzz Bissinger.

Dottie Sandusky

What Did She Know?

My Husband the Pedophile

My Husband the Pedophile

Darlene Ellison, the ex-wife of a convicted sex offender, reveals how Dorothy Sandusky may have been kept in the dark.

Shocking Accusation

Did He Molest His Son?


Current Research

What Makes a Pedophile?

What Makes a Pedophile?

As pedophilia cases rivet the nation, psychiatrists uncover new details about the mental illness, Casey Schwartz reports.