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Additional accusers as Sandusky speaks

By Mark Viera and Jo Becker
The New York Times / November 15, 2011

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Close to 10 additional suspected victims have come forward to the authorities since the arrest of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on Nov. 5 on 40 counts of sexually abusing young boys, according to people close to the investigation. The police are working to confirm the new allegations.

The news of additional accusations came on a day when Sandusky made his first extended public comments since his arrest, and the resignation of the chief executive of the Second Mile foundation, the charity founded by Sandusky, was made public. They were the latest developments in a case that has led to the ouster of several top university officials, including football coach Joe Paterno, and Penn State’s president, Graham B. Spanier.

In a phone interview with Bob Costas that was broadcast last night on NBC’s “Rock Center,’’ Sandusky said he was innocent of the charges against him and declared that he was not a pedophile. He did acknowledge, “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.’’

The interview with Costas was Sandusky’s first public comment on the charges. He had previously maintained his innocence through his attorney, Joe Amendola. Sandusky’s remarks came the same night that Amendola told CNN that his client was just behaving like “a jock.’’

“Jerry Sandusky is a big overgrown kid,’’ Amendola said. “He’s a jock, and for anybody who’s ever played sports, you get showers after you work out.’’

Asked by Costas whether he was sexually attracted to underaged boys, Sandusky said, “Sexually attracted, no. I enjoy young people, I love to be around them, but, no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.

“I could say that I have done some of those things,’’ he said of the accusations against him. “I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.’’

He added: “I enjoy being around children. I enjoy their enthusiasm. I just have a good time with them.’’

For many years, that enthusiasm took public form in his work with Second Mile, a charity to benefit needy children that Sandusky started in 1977. On Sunday, Jack Raykovitz, the chief executive of the foundation for 28 years, resigned. Raykovitz’s failure to do more to stop Sandusky has been a focal point of criticism.

The Pennsylvania attorney general has said that Sandusky used Second Mile to prey on young boys and that he met each of the eight boys mentioned in the grand jury report through the foundation.

Raykovitz was reportedly informed by Penn State athletic director Tim Curley about a 2002 assault in which Sandusky is suspected of raping a boy in a shower at Penn State’s football facility. Curley advised Raykovitz that Sandusky was prohibited from bringing children onto the university’s campus from that point.

Sandusky resigned from daily involvement with Second Mile last fall, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Raykovitz, who is a licensed psychologist, said in a statement last week that Penn State officials had told him only that the graduate assistant who witnessed the attack was “uncomfortable’’ with seeing a young boy shower with Sandusky. That graduate assistant has since been identified as a current Penn State assistant, Mike McQueary, who has been placed on leave.

McQueary told the grand jury he saw Sandusky sodomizing a boy about 10. McQueary did not go to police but instead told Paterno, Curley, and Gary Schultz, the university’s vice president for finance and business, although it is not clear how detailed of a description he gave.

Schultz, in turn, notified Spanier.

Paterno is not the target of any legal investigation, but he has conceded he should have done more. He and Spanier were fired because trustees felt they had not done enough after the 2002 incident.

At Penn State, in addition to the firings of Paterno and Spanier, the scandal led Curley and Schultz to step down last week. Both men have been charged with perjury and failure to report to the authorities what they knew about the allegations involving Sandusky.

Also yesterday, the Big Ten announced that Paterno’s name would be removed from its championship trophy for football. It will now be called the Stagg Championship Trophy, after Amos Alonzo Stagg.

Second Mile has sought to help needy children across the state through various programs, but its suspected role in the case against Sandusky and its close relationship with the university are now being scrutinized.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report