Charity CEO: PSU Review Found 'Nothing Inappropriate' has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer


HARRISBURG -- In nearly six years of dissection and discussion, no single incident has illustrated Jerry Sandusky's crimes like the oft-repeated account of how assistant football coach Mike McQueary walked into a campus locker room in 2001 and saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a shower.

But on Tuesday, the former head of Sandusky's charity for vulnerable children testified that Pennsylvania State University's athletic director at the time, Tim Curley, had assured him that the claim had been discredited.

"He told me it had been investigated and nothing inappropriate was found," Jack Raykovitz, the former president and CEO of Second Mile, told jurors.

Raykovitz's testimony came near the end of the first full day of trial for Graham B. Spanier, the longtime Penn State president accused of endangering children and conspiring to cover up Sandusky's crimes.

More than any other, Raykovitz's testimony amounted to a new disclosure in the case. Unlike many other witnesses, he had never before been required to publicly testify about his knowledge of Sandusky's misconduct. And longtime critics of the prosecution -- as well as defenders of Spanier -- have often asserted that the Second Mile, the defunct charity where Sandusky groomed many of his victims, has long escaped scrutiny it deserved in the scandal.

It came on a day that opened with a prosecutor suggesting to jurors that inaction or indifference by Spanier and two others -- Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz, both now government witnesses -- allowed a sex predator to thrive.

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for men to do nothing," said Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte. "Evil thrives when men do nothing."

Spanier's lawyer, in turn, countered that his client never conspired with anyone but rather was being wrongfully prosecuted for "a judgment call" based on sparse information he got from others.

Much of the day was spent using witnesses to educate jurors on what by now are the familiar facts of the case:

Former university police chief Tom Harmon and detective Ronald Schreffler gave accounts of their 1998 investigation into an allegation that Sandusky had showered with a different young boy. Harmon acknowledged on cross-examination that he never discussed the incident with Spanier, and that no one from the university interfered with the investigation, which ultimately ended without charges.

McQueary described for jurors what he saw in the locker-room shower in 2001 and how awkward it was to report it to head coach Joe Paterno.

"It's Coach. He's like a grandpa. He's revered. You just don't talk about that with Coach Paterno," McQueary testified.

His father, John J. McQueary, then told jurors that Schultz had promised him Penn State officials would look into the report by his son. The elder McQueary also said Schultz told him "we've heard rumblings" about similar encounters involving Sandusky but that "each time, we came up empty-handed."

Prosecutors contend that Spanier, Schultz, and Curley simply chose not to report McQueary's claim to child welfare authorities. Both Schultz, 67, and Curley, 62, admitted as much when they pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment charges last week, leaving Spanier, 68, as the sole defendant.

Raykovitz was called to bolster that contention. In his testimony, he said Curley told him one day in March 2001 that someone -- whom he did not identify -- reported being "uncomfortable" after seeing Sandusky in the shower with a boy, but that an ensuing investigation uncovered no wrongdoing.

Raykovitz, a psychologist, said he wasn't told Sandusky and the boy were naked or that McQueary saw skin-to-skin contact and heard "rhythmic slapping sounds," as prosecutor Laura Ditka described it. Raykovitz testified he was told the boy had been a teenager.

Curley did not disclose what agency had investigated the incident and Raykovitz, on cross-examination, acknowledged he didn't ask. He also conceded he didn't ask Curley if the child involved was a Second Mile participant.

Curley, he said, told him of the administrators' intended plan to bar Sandusky from bringing children into Penn State's facilities. Raykovitz said he asked Sandusky about it and the former defensive coordinator told him he was "confused" and thought the ban only applied to the Lasch football building.

"Does that mean not even Rec Hall?" Raykovitz said Sandusky asked him.

Raykovitz said he told Sandusky to check with Curley and clear up the confusion. He testified that he also advised Sandusky to no longer shower in the nude with boys, given concerns about child sexual abuse nationally.

"I told him to wear trunks," Raykovitz said.

Curley and Schultz are expected to testify as early as Wednesday.

The prosecutor told jurors that Schultz will testify he is "very regretful" of the decision not to report McQueary's claim to the Department of Public Welfare, which the three men in an email exchange had originally planned to do.

"We messed up," is what Schultz is going to say, according to Schulte.

Their plan changed after Curley discussed it with Paterno, the prosecutor said, without elaborating.

The men decided they would bar Sandusky from bringing youths on campus, but that never happened, Schulte said. And, he said, Sandusky continued to sexually assault boys in Penn State's showers, including a "John Doe" who will testify later in the week.

"The showers at Penn State continued to be Jerry Sandusky's sanctuary for child molestation," Schulte said.

Spanier's lawyer said the longtime president had no direct contact with McQueary and relied on information from the others. No one told Spanier they saw Sandusky having sex with a child, Sam Silver told jurors, and there's no evidence he attempted to stop anyone from reporting Sandusky or that he conspired to cover up crimes.

"This was far from criminal conspiracy," he said.

Spanier, who is also expected to take the stand in his own defense, appeared calm during the proceedings, greeting supporters who came to the courtroom, including Penn State trustee Al Lord.

Jury selection to begin in Penn State ex-president's trial

2 ex-officials set to testify against ex-Penn State leader

Spanier trial could shed light on Penn State's culpability

Penn State trustee Al Lord is on McCord's FBI tapes

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Photograph by: Matt Rourke
March 22, 2017


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