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Timeline: The Penn State child sex abuse scandal

Former Penn State assistant football coach Sandusky is surrounded by police as he departs from a preliminary hearing in Bellefonte
Former Penn State assistant football coach Sandusky is surrounded by police as he departs from a preliminary hearing in Bellefonte

(Reuters) - Timeline of events in the criminal investigation that has resulted in child sex abuse charges against Penn State former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Sandusky has maintained his innocence.

Sandusky has been charged with 52 counts of sexually molesting boys. He was charged on November 5 with 40 counts of abusing eight boys over 15 years. On December 7, he was charged with a further 12 counts of abusing two other boys.

Two university officials were charged with one count of perjury each. Former Athletic Director Timothy Curley gave false testimony under oath for denying he was told that Sandusky engaged in sexual misconduct with underage boys, the grand jury alleged.

Gary Schultz, the senior vice president for finance and business, gave false testimony in asserting he had no indication Sandusky committed a crime and by saying reports he heard about Sandusky were "not that serious," according to the grand jury.

The timeline:

1969: Penn State hires Sandusky as an assistant football coach and he serves under legendary Head Coach Joe Paterno.

1977: Sandusky founds The Second Mile, a charity dedicated to helping troubled children. It was through this charity that Sandusky allegedly finds his victims, befriends them, gives them presents, and then molests them, the Centre County grand jury alleges.

1986: Athlon Publications names Sandusky college football Assistant Coach of the Year.

1994: A boy identified by the Centre County grand jury as Victim 7, now 26, met Sandusky through The Second Mile. He told the grand jury that he has "blurry memory" of having improper contact with Sandusky when they were showering together in the locker room a couple of years later.

1996 or 1997: A boy identified by the Centre County grand jury as Victim 4, now 27, began a relationship with Sandusky that later resulted in repeated sexual violations, the grand jury alleges.

1998: Sandusky showered with a boy identified by the Centre County grand jury as Victim 5, now 22, pinning him in a corner, rubbing him and placing the boy's hand on his genitals, the grand jury alleges.

1998: A boy identified as Victim 6, now 24, told the Centre County grand jury Sandusky asked him to shower together when he was 11 years old and that Sandusky lathered soap on his back and bear-hugged him. The boy told his mother, who reported the incident to university police, leading to a lengthy investigation.

1998: University police conduct an investigation into allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior involving Sandusky and young boys in the football showers. No criminal charges were pursued. Schultz told the Centre County grand jury in 2011 that he was aware of the 1998 investigation.

June 1, 1998: University police interview Sandusky, who admitted showering naked with Victim 6, hugging him in the shower and admitted it was wrong. A university police detective told Sandusky never to shower with children again.

1999: Sandusky retires as defensive coordinator but retains many privileges such as access to Penn State athletic facilities.

1999: The American Football Coaches Association names Sandusky the major college Assistant Coach of the Year.

2000: Sandusky publishes his autobiography "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story."

Summer 2000: A boy identified by the Centre County grand jury as Victim 3, now 24, testified that Sandusky would bear-hug him in the shower after workouts and touch his genitals while sleeping over at Sandusky's house.

Fall 2000: A janitor saw Sandusky in the showers performing oral sex on a young boy identified as Victim 8 who was pinned against the wall, the Centre County grand jury said. The janitor told co-workers and his supervisor, but the incident was not reported to authorities at the time, the grand jury said.

March 2002: A graduate assistant, later identified as Mike McQueary, reports seeing Sandusky rape a boy who appeared to be about 10 years old in the showers of the Lasch Football Building. Called Victim 2 by the Centre County grand jury, the boy has not been identified or located. The next morning, McQueary telephoned Paterno and then went to Paterno's home to explain what he had seen. Paterno testified that he called Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and met with Curley the following day, explaining that McQueary had reported seeing Sandusky involved in sexual activity with a young boy in the showers. About 10 days later, McQueary was called to a meeting with Curley and Schultz at which he recounted what he had seen. The incident was not reported to any law enforcement or child protective agency. Curley told the grand jury he was informed of "inappropriate conduct" and "horsing around" but not of sexual assault. Curley barred Sandusky from bringing minors onto campus.

2004 to 2008: A boy identified by the statewide grand jury as Victim 9 was forced to perform oral sex on Sandusky repeatedly in the basement bedroom of Sandusky's home, and Sandusky attempted to rape him at least 16 times, according to the statewide grand jury. On trips to a hotel, Sandusky would expose himself and other engage in other inappropriate conduct, the statewide grand jury said.

Fall 2007: A boy identified by the statewide grand jury as Victim 10 said Sandusky pulled down his gym shorts and performed oral sex on him in the basement bedroom of Sandusky's home several times. Sandusky also had the boy perform oral sex on him, the grand jury said.

2007 and 2008: A boy identified by the Centre County grand jury as Victim 1 testified that Sandusky performed oral sex on him more than 20 times when he was 13 or 14 years old. Sandusky also had Victim 1 perform oral sex on him one day and also touched Victim 1's genitals with his hands, the grand jury said.

2009: The Centre County grand jury said Sandusky was barred from a school district attended by Victim 1 after the boy's mother reported allegations of sexual assault to the school. That matter was promptly reported to authorities, triggering an investigation by Pennsylvania State Police and the Attorney General's Office.

September 2010: Sandusky retires from The Second Mile.

November 5, 2011: A Centre County grand jury charges Sandusky with 40 counts of molesting eight boys from 1994 to 2009. Sandusky was arrested and released on a $100,000 unsecured bail. The charges carry a maximum combined penalty of 373 years in prison Two university officials are each charged with one count of perjury for testimony they gave about their knowledge of accusations against Sandusky. Penn State President Graham Spanier said in a statement that Curley and Schultz had his "unconditional support" and that the allegations against both men would be proven "groundless."

November 6, 2011: Paterno issues a statement in which he acknowledges being told by McQueary in 2002 of an incident in the shower but that "he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the grand jury report."

November 7, 2011: Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly says Paterno is not a target of the investigation.

November 8 2011: Penn State cancels a regular weekly Paterno press conference before the Saturday football game against Nebraska.

November 9, 2011: Paterno announces he will retire at the end of the 2011 football season, but the university board of trustees later that day says Paterno and university President Graham Spanier have been fired effective immediately. After the announcement of Paterno's firing, thousands of students demonstrate in protest.

November 18, 2011: One of Paterno's sons says the ousted coach, 84, has been diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer.

November 30, 2011 - A new accuser files the first lawsuit against Sandusky, The Second Mile and Penn State. The 29-year-old man alleges Sandusky sexually abused him more than 100 times.

December 7, 2011: The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office and state police, acting on recommendations from a statewide grand jury, charged Sandusky with a further 12 counts of abusing two boys. The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 156 years. Sandusky was arrested again and held on bail of $250,000 in cash.

December 8, 2011: Sandusky posts bail and is again released from jail, this time with an electronic monitoring device. His wife Dorothy issues a statement saying that the allegations against Jerry Sandusky are "absolutely untrue."

December 10, 2011: Paterno, 84, breaks his pelvis in a fall, a source close to the coach says. He is hospitalized but will not need surgery.

December 13, 2011: Sandusky abruptly waives his right to a preliminary hearing, meaning his case will go to trial unless there is a plea agreement. Prosecutors say no discussions so far on plea agreement.

Sources: Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and Centre County grand jury report.

(Compiled by Daniel Trotta in New York and Ian Simpson in Washington, Edited by Greg McCune)

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