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PSU Sex Abuse Scandal

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Centre Co. seeing spike in abuse case reports in recent week

Updated: Wednesday, March 5 2014, 05:51 PM EST

Reported By: Gary Sinderson
Written By: Marc Stempka

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- With two child sex abuse cases leading media coverage in the past week in Centre County, officials said they've seen a spike in reported child abuse cases.

Eric Crader, 33, of Pleasant Gap, was arrested by Spring Township police on Feb. 27 and charged with raping and sexually abusing two young girls. Crader waived the 1,278 charges against him to trial Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a profile article in ESPN Magazine on Mike McQueary, a former Penn State quarterback, former coach and a key witness in the upcoming trial of former Penn State University administrators for alleging covering up Jerry Sandusky's abuses, revealed that McQueary himself was a sexual abuse victim.

As these cases continue to garner additional media attention and are talked about around town, Center County Youth Service Bureau Director Andrea Boyles said news reports can have a direct impact on calls to counselors and police about suspect abuse.

"There is a spark when there's a news story of course," Boyles said. "I think that the Pleasant Gap story is a reminder that child sexual abuse is not about Jerry Sandusky, it's [just] a horrific example."

In the EPSN story with McQueary, anonymous sources were cited saying McQueary told them he was a child sex abuse victim. Boyles said a high-profile story like that can possibly act as a deterrent for other adults who were victims to come forward.

"I will say that based on the news in the last couple of days, my fear is that an adult who was victimized as a child will be afraid to report, afraid to get involved, because they don't want their own child victimization to come out," Boyles said.

Following the Sandusky scandal, several local and state leaders came forward urging, or in some cases requiring, better child sexual abuse training awareness. One example in the Centre region is the Stewards of Children program, created through the Youth Services Bureau and various agencies, and adopted as the primary training tool by Penn State University for their staff.

The focus on the program is to better teach adults on how to spot signs of child sexual abuse and who is best to report it.

"I think we're learning that the most important part of preventing child sexual abuse is to train adults," Boyles said. "The truth is, our county was missing that. We're doing programming with kids in a number of different venues, but we weren't training adults."

The Stewards of Children has been widely regarded as a success in training hundreds of people across the area.

As for McQueary, he's expected to testify in the upcoming perjury trial against former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice President of Business Gary Schultz. The three men are part of what prosecutors have called a "conspiracy of silence" to cover up Sandusky's repeated sexual abuse of boys over several years. The men have plead not guilty.

Sandusky was found guilty in June 2012 on 45 child sexual abuse-related counts and sentenced to up to 60 years in prison. Some of the crimes he committed happened on the PSU campus.

At the crux of McQueary's case is whether he saw Sandusky sexual abusing a boy in the football locker room shower in 2001 and if claims of what he saw remain consistent.

Centre Co. seeing spike in abuse case reports in recent week

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Who's Who in the Jerry Sandusky Case

  • Joe Amendola

    Joseph L. Amendola is Jerry Sanduskys defense attorney. 

     He established a private law practice in 1982 and has defended many high profile cases in Centre County. Since Sanduskys arrest Amendola has argued the 52-counts of abuse charges against his client are not specific enough to take to trial. Amendola has said that Sandusky is innocent of the charges, and that he flat out denies any sexual conduct and the allegations of prolonged abuse. Amendola said some of the acts described by victims -- like touching or naked shared showers -- might have been misinterpreted by the alleged victims.

  • Judge John Cleland

    In 2011, Judge John Cleland was assigned the case of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who stands accused multiple counts of child molestation. 

    Cleland was appointed judge following the recusal of all the judges on the Centre County Court of Common Pleas.  The judges stepped aside to prevent any bias or perceived bias in their affiliation with Penn State University or the Second Mile Charity founded by Sandusky.

    Cleland received his undergraduate degree from Denison University and in 1972, his J.D. The National Law Center of The George Washington University, 1972.

    Cleland began his legal career as a law clerk for United States District Judge Barron P. McCune. After that, he went into the private practice in law until his appointment to the McKean County Court of Common Pleas in 1984. 

    He served on the court from 1984 to 2008. That year, he was appointed an interim judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court. After one year on the court, he became a senior judge for the courts on which he had previously served.

  • Linda Kelly

    Attorney General Linda L. Kelly was nominated by Governor Tom Corbett to take over his role as Pennsylvanias top law enforcement officer.  She took the oath of office on May 27, 2011.

    Kelly has been a prosecutor for more than 30 years, serving as both an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County and most recently as senior litigation counsel as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

    Kelly is the first woman to lead the Office of Attorney General since it became an independent elected office in 1981 and Kelly is only the second woman to ever serve as Pennsylvania's Attorney General.  

    Kelly has handled the prosecution of a variety of other crimes including racketeering, narcotics cases and illegal gambling operations. She has prosecuted and supervised a number of cases based on investigations by the Internal Revenue Service, Postal Inspector and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    Kelly is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English, and the Duquesne University School of Law.

    She and her husband, Paul, are the parents of a daughter, Kate, who is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Jerry Sandusky was born in Washington, Pa.   He played football at Penn State from 1963 " 1965, eventually becoming a member of Joe Paternos coaching staff.   Sandusky was the defensive coordinator on Penn States two national championship teams 82, 86.    He retired in 1999.  His last game was a memorable one, being carried off the field after his defense shutout Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl.

    Sandusky founded the Second Mile Charity in 1977.   President George H. W. Bush praised the organization as a "shining example" of charity work in a 1990 letter that encouraged others to volunteer in community organizations.

    On November 4, 2011, a grand jury indicted Sandusky on 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys.  Those crimes allegedly took place from 1994 to 2009 taking place at his home, on the Penn State campus and other locations.  The attorney generals office claims Sandusky used Second Mile Charity to lure his victims.

  • Frank Noonan

    Frank Noonan was nominated by Gov. Tom  Corbett on January 18, 2011, to be Commissioner of Pennsylvania State Police and was confirmed by the State Senate on April 12, 2011.    

    Frank Noonan is a career investigator with more than 30 years of experience.  He began his career in 1971 as an FBI agent, investigating public corruption, drugs, bank robberies and kidnappings.   Noonan took a lead role in the Sandusky child abuse investigation. 

    After the arrest,  Noonan said the investigation was about more than football and Penn State.  He said, the case is about children who have had their innocence stolen from them and a culture that did nothing to stop it or preventing it from happening to others."

  • Tim Curley

    Tim Curley faces charges of perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. 

     The accusations surround alleged Victim Two who was reportedly seen in a Penn State locker room shower with Jerry Sandusky.   According to the Grand Jury presentment, former head coach Joe Paterno contacted Tim Curley about the suspected abuse.    Curley has plead not guilty to the charges. 

     Curley grew up across the street from the University Park Campus and worked as a Penn State bat boy.  In 1993, Curley was named athletic director and oversaw massive growth of the sports program, millions in donations, 21 NCAA championships and 64 Big Ten titles. 

  • Gary Schultz

    Gary Schultz faces charges of perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. 

    The accusations surround alleged Victim Two who was reportedly seen in a Penn State locker room shower with Jerry Sandusky.   Schultz has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

    For 14 years, Schultz served as the vice president for finance and business.  He also oversaw several departments including police, human resources and legal services.  Last year, Schultz attended the opening of the Gary Schultz Child Care Center.  After his indictment, his name was removed from that building.

  • Dottie Sandusky

    Dorothy Dottie Sandusky is the wife of Jerry Sandusky. 

    The couple married in 1966.  They took in numerous foster children before adopting six children of their own.

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Sandusky Case: Grand Jury Presentments (WARNING: Material is graphic)

1st Grand Jury Presentment

2nd Grand Jury Presentment

Washington Times