Charges of child sex abuse were brought against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky on Nov. 4, 2011, igniting a firestorm of scandal around the prestigious football program that led to the dismissal of the university's president and legendary head football coach Joe Paterno, and charges against two school officials.
The investigation began in 2008 when a high school student in Centre County, Pa., told his mother and school administrators that Sandusky had molested him, launching a widespread but secretive effort to interview dozens of boys Sandusky mentored through his charity, The Second Mile, as well as Penn State officials who may have seen or heard about inappropriate actions.
Now, Sandusky faces 52 counts of molestation from 10 alleged victims, eight of whom are expected to testify during his trial. Two of the alleged victims have never been located or identified by the attorney general's office. The identity of the others will be revealed for the first time during their testimony.
Following is a description of the main players in the Jerry Sandusky trial, what they knew, what they did and what happened to them.
|Gerard "Jerry" Sandusky|
The former assistant football coach has been charged with sexually assaulting 10 boys over a 15-year period. He allegedly preyed on the boys through a charitable organization he founded called, The Second Mile.
As a former Penn State coach, Sandusky had free use of the university's facilities, including its locker rooms and showers, and often took Second Mile boys to Penn State football games, an indictment claimed.
Sandusky's arrest and his alleged ability to operate freely at Penn State despite people witnessing his alleged actions over the years has roiled the Penn State campus.
Sandusky, 68, will face eight of his accusers during a trial beginning Monday, June 11.
|The Alleged Victims|
The trial against Sandusky will likely hinge on the testimony of eight alleged victims, all of whom are now adult men and testified to the investigating grand jury that they were molested by Sandusky when they were young boys.
The man known as Victim 1 is responsible for the grand jury investigation into Sandusky, and led the way in telling his story about the alleged abuse. As a freshman in high school in 2008, the boy told his mother and then his high school administrators that Sandusky molested him, prompting the 3-year investigation and eventual charges.
Two of the alleged victims described in the grand jury presentment were never identified by the attorney general's office and are the subject of witness accounts.
The boy known as Victim 2 was reportedly seen by assistant coach Mike McQueary being raped in the shower by Sandusky in February 2001, while the boy known as Victim 8 was seen by a janitor being molested by Sandusky in the fall of 2000. Neither child was ever located by the school or the attorney general's office.
Five of the victims petitioned Judge John Cleland to remain anonymous, but the petition was denied.
The men who have come forward and plan to testify against Sandusky were allegedly the subject of grooming habits, and told the grand jury they were plied with gifts including golf clubs, watches, and trips to watch the Nittany Lions play in big football games. Sources told ABC News that Sandusky allegedly wrote "creepy" love letters to some of the victims which featured lewd content.
Mike McQueary was 28 and a graduate assistant in 2001 when he allegedly came upon Sandusky in the football building's showers raping a boy who appeared to be about 10 years old.
McQueary was startled and left without saying anything, although the boy and Sandusky both saw him, the grand jury report said. He spoke with his father and on his father's advice, McQueary reported what he saw to the team's head coach, Joe Paterno, the next day.
He was questioned about a week and a half later by top school officials -- athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz -- and told them he saw Sandusky having anal sex with a boy, according to the grand jury report. Later, Paterno was fired and Curley and Shultz were charged criminally for not reporting the abuse to police.
Curley and Schultz claim that McQuery never mentioned that the boy was being raped. The date of the incident was also changed from McQuery's original claim of March 2002 to February 2001. And authorities have never been able to figure out who the child was that McQueary allegedly saw with Sandusky in the showers that day.
McQueary was placed on leave by the university in the wake of the scandal, with the school noting that there had been death threats made against him after Paterno was fired. McQueary has since filed notice of a lawsuit against the university.
Paterno, who died in January at the age of 85, had been hailed as a hero and affectionately known as JoePa on the school's campus for his stellar reputation as the winningest college football coach in history. But during the week of Nov. 4, 2011, after his former assistant coach was arrested for child sex abuse, Paterno's legacy came crashing down.
According to the grand jury report, Paterno was informed by McQueary on a Saturday about Sandusky's alleged sexual assault of a boy in the shower. On the following day, Paterno relayed the allegation to his superior, Athletic Director Tim Curley.
Paterno recalled that McQueary told him that Sandusky was seen "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy," the report said.
The coach testified before a grand jury and was described as a cooperating witness and not a target of the investigation. Authorities said Paterno did what was required of him by reporting the incident to a superior.
Paterno was fired just days after the scandal exploded following Sandusky's arrest. The Penn State Board of Trustees criticized him for not doing more to stop Sandusky after McQueary's report. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and died eight weeks later.
The former Penn State athletic director is charged with perjury and failure to report sexual abuse. He has been placed on administrative leave and the school is paying for his legal defense. His attorney has said he will take the fifth amendment if asked to testify in the Sandusky trial.
Schultz, Penn State's senior vice president for finance and business when Sandusky was arrested, is charged with perjury and failure to report abuse. He had retired in 2009, but held the senior vice president job on an interim basis at the time of his arraignment. Schultz was allowed to retire again and Penn State is paying for his legal defense. His lawyer has also said he will take the fifth amendment if called to testify in Sandusky's trial.
University President Graham Spanier was dismissed by the school's board of trustees shortly after Sandusky's arrest.
He is on a witness list for Sandusky's trial.
|The Second Mile|
Sandusky started a charity for underprivileged boys in 1977 and called it The Second Mile, a reference to a Bible quote. The charity had close ties to Penn State's football program, hosting fundraisers with coaches and players and bringing Second Mile participants to athletic games and camps at the school.
Following his arrest, prosecutors said that Sandusky used the charity to find and prey on boys to molest, singling out those from unstable homes or without fathers. At least six of the alleged victims mentioned in the grand jury presentment testified that they met Sandusky through the Second Mile.
The charity folded in the wake of the scandal.
A colorful defense attorney from State College, Pa., Joe Amendola was enlisted by Sandusky immediately following his arrest to help defend him against the child molestation charges. Amendola vowed to fight the charges, poke holes in the testimony of witnesses and alleged victims, and prove that Sandusky was innocent.
In the weeks after the scandal broke, Amendola raised eyebrows by accompanying Sandusky to an interview on NBC. When asked if he was sexually attracted to underage boys, Sandusky repeated the question back, "am I sexually attracted to underage boys?" before answering: "Sexually attracted, you know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."
Amendola has vowed to go after the alleged victims, questioning their motives and personal histories to discredit them.
Amendola will be joined by Karl Rominger, another defense attorney who joined the case in December.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan, who gained prominence for winning a conviction in the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Shultz in 1997, will be the lead prosecutor in the case.
McGettigan will focus on the testimony of the eight accusers, as well as witnesses including McQueary, to convince the jury Sandusky had a grooming pattern, picking Second Mile children who were vlunerable and plied them with gifts before molesting them on Penn State's campus and in his home.