- The judge who granted bail volunteered at Second Mile
- Neighbors are concerned about coach’s proximity to school
- Gov. Corbett: A new law may pass by the end of the year
- Former Second Mile member: The group’s mission must continueState College, Pennsylvania — The judge who released former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky on bail has had ties to his charity.
After Sandusky was charged this month with 40 counts of sexually abusing children, Judge Leslie Dutchcot freed him on $100,000 bail, against the wishes of prosecutors.
A biography of Dutchcot posted on the website of the law firm Goodall & Yurchak lists her as a volunteer for The Second Mile, a program for troubled youths that Sandusky founded.
“She certainly should have raised the issue in public and then asked the parties if either one wanted her to recuse herself,” legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.
It is not clear whether Dutchcot currently has any affiliation with the organization.
tried to contact the judge but has not received a response.
A 23-page grand jury report released this month described crimes that Sandusky allegedly committed against young boys between 1994 and 2009 — some of them on campus, both during and after his tenure at Penn State.
Sandusky’s attorney, Joseph Amendola, has said his client disputes the report.
Prosecutors: Coach went from mentor to predator
Since Sandusky was freed, an elementary school neighboring his home has taken steps to ensure student safety. Sandusky’s backyard is next to the playground at Lemont Elementary School.
When he was released on bail, Sandusky, the former Nittany Lion defensive coordinator, was told not to go near children.
State College Area School District Superintendent Robert J. O’Donnell told The Patriot-News newspaper in an e-mail that police were aware of the issue and that the principal at the school “has taken additional administrative action to ensure our children are safe. These measures … will remain in place moving forward.”
O’Donnell didn’t say what steps were taken.
Sandusky is not accused of molesting random children; he is alleged to have molested young boys after developing close relationships with them through Second Mile.
The road to Sandusky’s home has been blocked off and private property signs went up on his lawn after police said a cinder block was thrown through a window there.
On Sunday, Melissa and Carl Anderson, the parents of two little boys who live near the school, questioned why he was out on bail.
“It baffles my mind,” Melissa Anderson said.
“The presumption of innocence — we all like to believe in that and we do in this country — but I think there’s a level of protection that a neighborhood and community is entitled to,” Carl Anderson said.
The Andersons were once such fans of the coach that they own an autographed, limited-edition copy of his book “Touched – The Jerry Sandusky Story.”
“For me … it alternates between anger and sadness,” Carl Anderson said. “It really is a loss of wholesale community innocence.”
In 2002, a graduate assistant allegedly saw Sandusky raping a boy in the showers of a campus athletics facility. The graduate student, Mike McQueary, informed Joe Paterno, the team’s coach at the time, according to the grand jury report. Paterno then alerted his boss, the school’s athletic director.
It was years before law enforcement first learned about the allegation.
How Paterno can promote healing
Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz have been charged for failing to report the abuse to authorities and misleading investigators. Prosecutors determined that a legal duty to report the alleged abuse applied to them, but not to McQueary and Paterno.
Pennsylvania needs to change its law in the wake of the scandal, Gov. Tom Corbett said. Sunday.
Members of both political parties “have already introduced measures” to change it, he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see if a bill was passed between now and the end of this year.”
Meanwhile, people who have been served well by The Second Mile want to see the organization’s good work continue.
“I was never harmed during my time at The Second Mile,” Penn State graduate Thomas Day told Monday, adding that his experience “was nothing but positive.”
“In some way, shape or form,” he added, “the mission of The Second Mile has to continue.”