PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was ten years ago this weekend that the child sex abuse scandal surrounding Former football coach Jerry Sandusky rocked Penn State and our region. CBS3 spoke with the prosecutor Sunday about the historic case.
Early Nov., 10 years ago this weekend, a firestorm erupted in “Happy Valley.” The arrest of Jerry Sandusky touched off a scandal that rocked Penn State University, its famed football program, and a legendary coach.
The wounds ran deep, lingering for most of the past decade. The scars, however, are slow to fade.
The accusations: former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky had preyed on children he met through the charitable organization he founded, The Second Mile. The indictment also charged top university officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz for lying to the grand jury.
Joe Paterno was ousted by the university’s Board of Trustees in those days in early Nov. 2011
For former prosecutor Joe McGettigan, it feels like yesterday.
“It doesn’t seem like it, but it’s been ten years since the arrest,” he told CBS3.
McGettigan, now practicing with the McAndrews Law Firm based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, joined CBS3’s Joe Holden on Zoom Sunday evening.
When asked what stood out about the case, he said it was the bravery of the victims.
“My witnesses, the victims in the case,” he said. “Their extraordinary resilience and their willingness to make the commitment to go forward and testimony.”
McGettigan described the several victims as traumatized young men who did the right thing. Sandusky would eventually be convicted on 45 of 48 counts. He’s been imprisoned ever since.
For the first time, CBS3 is showing prison mail addressed to Joe Holden from Sandusky himself. In the letters, the disgraced assistant coach defended Joe Paterno and quoted Franco Harris, saying the grand jury presentment was a lie.
Sandusky’s appeal efforts have all failed.
“He was a prolific serial predator and caused untold damage,” McGettigan said. “The true amount of damage he did, I don’t know that anybody knows.”