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2011 Year in Review

U.S. News

Major U.S. news stories, from Occupy Wall Street to Penn State


Penn State

Beaver Stadium, Penn State University

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The U.S. Avoids Default in 11th Hour | Occupy Wall Street | Campaign 2012 | Election 2011 | States Attempt to Weaken Unions| The Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 | Tornadoes Ravaged Parts of the Southeast U.S. in April and May 2011 | New evaluations raise the stakes for teachers | Trials that Captured the Nation | Gabrielle Giffords

Penn State Child Molestation Scandal

On November 5, former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested on charges of 40 counts of sexually abusing eight boys during a 15-year period. The boys were allegedly assaulted while they attended Second Mile, a football camp for disadvantaged youth run by Sandusky. He was arraigned and released on $100,000 bail. Penn State's senior vice president for finance and business, Gary Schultz, and the athletic director, Tim Curley, were both charged with perjury and failure to report what they knew about the alleged abuse to the authorities. Schultz resigned from the university and Curley was placed on administrative leave. Four days later celebrated Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno announced his plan to retire at the end of the football season, but his announcement was released without approval of the university's Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees fired Paterno later that day, citing his failure to notify the police in 2002 after he was informed of a suspected assault by Sandusky.

The fallout continued as 2011 drew to a close. The Second Mile announced that it was preparing to fold. On December 7, Sandusky was arrested again after two more victims came forward. They testified in front of a grand jury that they were molested or raped by Sandusky over a period of years. Unable to post bail, Sandusky was taken to the Centre County Correctional Facility in Bellefonte, Pa.

With the additional charges, Sandusky now faces more than 50 counts of child sexual abuse. Penn State is being investigated for its handling of the abuse allegations by the U.S. Department of Education.

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