Second Mile Staffers Quit Over Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal

Second Mile leaders and volunteers cite "betrayal" by group's executives.

ByABC News
November 17, 2011, 10:54 AM

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. Nov. 17, 2011— -- The outrage over the Penn State sex abuse scandal has spilled over into anger at the management of the Second Mile charity, prompting an exodus of some furious board members and volunteers.

The Second Mile, founded by accused child molester Jerry Sandusky, refused to say how many of its board members have resigned, although the group's former CEO Jack Raykowitz was forced to resign last week.

The anger has rippled out from its headquarters in State College. At least three members of the Second Mile's south central chapter in York, Pa., said they have quit in recent weeks over their outrage that Sandusky was allowed to still be involved with the organization although executives knew about sexual child abuse allegations against him.

"I'm certain that you can appreciate the anger and betrayal that my former board member colleagues and I now feel," an ex-board member who quit last week told "When the grand jury presentment was published on Nov. 4, our spirits were crushed."

Second Mile Aides Quit in Anger Over Sex Abuse Scandal

The board member, like several others interviewed by, requested that their names be withheld. They said they had been instructed by the Second Mile's headquarters to direct all questions to the state office in State College. Messages left there went unreturned.

Sandusky, 67, has been accused of molesting eight boys over the last 15 years, and the grand jury presentment suggested that he had used the Second Mile as a way to prey on children and groom them for his alleged purposes. The report also noted that the Second Mile's top executives had been informed of the allegations against in 2002 and earlier in 1998.

Some reports cite as many as six board members resigning from the Second Mile. Board members who have quit and spoken to ABC News said they were upset that key officials of the charity were aware of the ugly charges against Sandusky, but continued to include him in their awards and fundraising events.

One board member, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was told by the group's headquarters only that Sandusky was under investigation, and that he had denied the allegations.

The board member said he was later outraged to learn that the investigation involved 40 counts of child molestation.

During the same period, Sandusky attended the group's annual Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony in Hershey, Pa., in March of this year.

A long-time volunteer with the chapter recalled that in 2006, Sandusky and former head coach of Penn State football Joe Paterno had attended a banquet for the organization. That event was held four years after Paterno had been told about an alleged rape of a 10-year-old boy by Sandusky in the showers at Penn State's football department.

Sandusky was also featured in a 2007 fundraiser for the York chapter dubbed "A Tribute to Linebacker U." As the team's former defensive coordinator, Sandusky was an architect of Penn State's linebacker corps.

"(Sandusky) would bring players to golf tournaments, they were all at dinners. I liked the guy, but I guess he was different than I thought," said the volunteer, who has handed in his resignation. "Most of us didn't know much at all."

Another board member who resigned in recent days said she was still trying to process how it could have happened.

"You know, obviously it's pretty big news, and it's devastating. It's just a lot to process, I am personally still processing it. I just feel so sorry for all of the victims," she said.