Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Timeline of 1998 investigation of Jerry Sandusky

This is a reconstructed timeline of the 1998 investigation of Jerry Sandusky, taken from an incomplete 1998 Penn State internal police report:

May 4, 1998

11 a.m.: Penn State Detective Ron Schreffler received a call from the mother of an 11-year-old boy.

She said that her son, the day before, had returned home at 9 p.m. after spending about two hours with Sandusky. According to her, Sandusky had taken her son to the Lasch Building gym to work out, but the boy had returned home with wet hair and said that Sandusky had put him a bear hug in the shower while they were both naked.

Schreffler asked the mother to bring her son to the police station.

11:25 a.m.: Schreffler interviewed and tape-recorded the boy with the mother’s approval. The boy said he wore a T-shirt and shorts when he and Sandusky wrestled in a football locker room for a few minutes. Then they changed clothes, worked out on weight machines and played a game kicking a tape ball into trash cans.

Afterward, the boy recalled, Sandusky said he was going to take a shower and asked if the boy wanted one. The boy said he felt sweaty and asked if separate showers were available. Sandusky replied no but said there were four where he was. In the showers, the boy said, Sandusky came up to him from behind, grabbed him in a bear hug, made a growling noise and laughed.

The boy said they were in the showers for about five minutes before they got dressed and Sandusky drove him home. When asked how the shower made him feel, the boy said “uncomfortable.”

12:55 p.m.: Schreffler spoke to John Miller, a case officer for Centre County Children and Youth Services, about the case. Miller said he would review it. After doing so, he called back and said he would meet with Schreffler around 6 p.m. at the university police station.

4 p.m.: Schreffler reviewed the incident with Assistant District Attorney Karen Arnold. She recommended that everyone involved be interviewed “as soon as possible.”

8:10 p.m.: Schreffler and Miller interviewed the boy, recording their conversation. The boy said he had been to the Penn State campus twice with Sandusky, whom he met through a program at The Second Mile. Though the boy could not remember the date, he said one time at a gym he lifted weights, worked out and wrestled Sandusky, trying to pin him.

The boy said he had taken a shower with Sandusky, and was lifted from behind in a bear hug. Asked how close they were, the boy said his back was against Sandusky and, using a chair, demonstrated how he was hugged.

9:30 p.m.: Schreffler and Miller interviewed the boy again. The boy said that after he was hugged, Sandusky told him he had soap in his hair and lifted him by the legs toward the shower head. The boy also said he initially turned on a shower several feet from Sandusky, who then turned on a closer shower. This also, the boy said, made him feel “uncomfortable.”

May 5

1:55 p.m.: Schreffler received a call from Jerry Lauro, a state Department of Public Welfare investigator. Lauro said he had been assigned to follow up on the case after a referral from Centre County Children and Youth Services, and he told Schreffler he would meet with him to interview Sandusky.

May 7

9:10 a.m.: Schreffler and his supervisor, Wayne Weaver, met with the boy’s mother at her home to record a message left on her answering machine by Sandusky on May 6. Sandusky asked if the boy “wanted to work out or do something” if he was free on May 7.

The mother’s caller ID showed Sandusky left two messages two hours apart during the afternoon of May 3.

11 a.m.: Schreffler, Weaver and Lauro met. Lauro said he had received the transcribed statements of the boy and his mother, and had reviewed Miller’s file.

11:15 a.m.: Schreffler, Weaver and Lauro went to the boy’s home and interviewed the mother. Schreffler collected a T-shirt, pair of shorts and pair of socks that Sandusky had given the boy on May 3.

Sometime during May 7: Arnold told Schreffler not to arrange a psychological evaluation of the boy until further investigation is done.

May 8 11:20 a.m.: Schreffler contacted Miller and asked that a meeting with a psychologist be delayed for a few days. Miller said he was not involved in the investigation, other than arranging the meeting for noon.

11:40 a.m.: Schreffler contacted Lauro and asked for a delay. Lauro said he did not mind but Schreffler should ask Miller.

11:50 a.m.: Schreffler called Miller back. They agreed to delay the meeting. Schreffler called the mother to tell her the meeting had been canceled.

11:55 a.m.: Calling Schreffler, Lauro said his supervisor told him to go ahead with the meeting, and that Miller was calling the mother to bring her son.

12:30 p.m.: Schreffler received psychologist Alycia Chambers’ report of her May 4 interview of the boy.

1:10 p.m.: The boy’s mother called Schreffler, reported that Miller had contacted her about an appointment that afternoon and said she was confused.

1:20 p.m.: The boy’s appointment with psychologist John Seasock was scheduled for 2 p.m.

May 9

12:10 p.m.: Seasock, a consultant with Centre County Children and Youth Services, called Schreffler and said the boy’s story was “consistent” but there were some “gray areas.” Seasock told Schreffler that:

he went into the interview cold without any background or review of Chambers’ report.

he hadn’t heard of a 52-year-old becoming a pedophile but that it was possible.

he couldn’t find any indication of child abuse.

Schreffler asked if the boy mentioned Sandusky kissing him on the head and saying “I love you” (as noted in Chambers’ report), kissing him on the arm, asking him to sit in his lap or promising him football tickets. Seasock said no to each, but said the boy told him Sandusky tickled him.

Seasock concluded Sandusky did not fit the profile of a pedophile.

4:30 p.m.: Schreffler spoke to the mother, who said Sandusky had called 10 minutes earlier, leaving a message for the boy to call him. The mother thought this was unusual because she had left an earlier message with Sandusky that the family was out of town for the weekend.

May 11

5:30 p.m.: Schreffler received a call from the mother. She said that when Seasock returned her call that day, she told him she was concerned about Sandusky’s calling. According to her, Seasock said it was customary for The Second Mile to call weekly to check on kids. She replied she had a daughter in a Second Mile program, and that she never received such calls about her.

She also said she asked Seasock if she should allow her son to go with Sandusky, and he reportedly said no, explaining there were still “gray areas” he could not discuss with her.

In addition, she reported that her son had told her that Sandusky had called him again earlier, inviting him to a Second Mile dinner in Altoona that evening. The boy corroborated the account.

May 13

9:10 a.m.: Schreffler contacted District Attorney Ray Gricar about Sandusky’s ongoing calls. The day before, Sandusky had called the home and asked to pick up the boy on May 13. The mother agreed, then contacted Schreffler. They agreed the boy would not go with Sandusky.

3:40 p.m.: Schreffler and Detective Ralph Ralston arrived at the boy’s home, ahead of Sandusky.

4:05 p.m.: Sandusky arrived, with Schreffler and Ralston hidden in the apartment.

According to a partial synopsis of the conversation, the mother asked Sandusky about the May 3 gym workout, saying her son had been “acting different” and having nightmares since that day. She asked Sandusky if anything happened; he said they worked out. Sandusky asked if the boy had said anything happened. When the mother said her son’s hair was wet, Sandusky said nothing.

She then asked if he took a shower, and if her son took a shower, and he said yes to both. The mother told Sandusky she did not want him to call anymore, to which he said he might have worked the boy “too hard.” Asked again if something happened, Sandusky said, “I don’t think so.”

He offered to talk to the boy, but the mother declined, saying she did not “think it was a good idea.” Sandusky asked if he should leave the boy alone, and she said yes. Sandusky then left the apartment.

Schreffler later noted Sandusky’s silence about the boy’s hair, and that he did not say they showered together.

June 1

11 a.m.: Schreffler and Lauro interviewed Sandusky at the Lasch Building about the May 3 workout.

Sandusky said he met the boy through The Second Mile. He said he hugged him in the shower but it wasn’t sexual. He also said he had showered with other boys in the past.

He appeared distraught at upsetting the boy and said he realized he used “poor judgment.”

Later, the investigators could not determine whether a sexual assault took place, and told Sandusky that. Lauro said he agreed with Schreffler that no assault occurred. Schreffler told Sandusky not to shower with children, and Sandusky said he would not. The case was subsequently closed.