Skip to main content

Muralist replaces Sandusky image; Penn State looks to cases ahead

By David Ariosto, CNN
updated 9:05 PM EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
An artist removed Jerry Sandusky's image from a Penn State mural.
An artist removed Jerry Sandusky's image from a Penn State mural.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The image of Jerry Sandusky has been replaced on a renowned bookstore mural
  • The artist put a picture of an advocate for sexual abuse victims in place of Sandusky's
  • The university says the student section of Beaver Stadium is sold out for football season
  • Sandusky sentence could come just as the first post-Paterno football season gets under way

(CNN) -- The image of Jerry Sandusky, once emblazoned across a renowned bookstore mural near the Penn State campus, has been replaced -- a move that the artist says he'd been waiting to make until the end of a child sexual abuse trial that's still fresh in the minds of many.

"I just couldn't have it up there," said Michael Pilato, who replaced Sandusky's picture with that of Dora McQuaid, a Penn State graduate, poet and advocate for sexual abuse victims.

"It's Happy Valley, but there's definitely a cloud over this town these days," Pilato said Tuesday, having painted two red handprints beside McQuaid's image on Sunday.

A blue ribbon was added to the rendering a day later, two months ahead of the fall school semester and just as the drumbeat for Nittany Lions football begins.

Penn State conspiracy of silence?
Analysis: Jerry Sandusky verdict

The university announced Friday that it had already sold out the student section of Beaver Stadium, with students purchasing more than 21,000 season football tickets.

Attorney: Sandusky to appeal child sex abuse convictions

The team's home opener against Ohio is scheduled for September 1, leaving the program with the likely distraction of a Sandusky sentence just as the first post-Paterno season gets under way.

Following Friday's verdict, Judge John Cleland ordered the former defensive coordinator to a county jail to await sentencing for about 90 days. Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts related to child sex abuse. He continues to maintain his innocence.

But as Penn State grapples with the trial's aftermath, it still faces the related prosecution of two former university officials: Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley.

"Until the Schultz and Curley part gets taken care of, it won't be over," said Michael Rowe, a 27-year-old Penn State alumnus. "It's a huge scar."

Court proceedings involving the two ex-administrators are expected to begin in mid-July, according to Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania attorney general's office.

Last year, the scandal led to the November firing of iconic head coach Joe Paterno and university President Graham Spanier and brought charges against Schultz and Curley for perjury and failing to report the abuse.

Paterno -- who died on January 22 after a storied career that brought Penn State football to national prominence -- reported to his superiors a child sex abuse incident in a university shower that involved Sandusky, but did not inform police.

Photos: Paterno through the years

"We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno," the board of trustees said in a report that explained his firing.

That decision prompted rioting by Penn State students, overturning a news van and clashing with police, who used tear gas to break up throngs of angry protesters.

Months later, the loss of Paterno -- often referred to as "JoPa" -- still resonated with students when asked Tuesday about the lingering effects of the scandal.

"JoPa was kind of an idol for everyone," said Seth Cornwall, 19, a Penn State sophomore. "Without him there, people are going to feel differently" about the program.

"I think the community is just trying to move on now," he added.

Juror: Sandusky expressions creepy
Michael Jackson's attorney on Sandusky

Pilato, the muralist, recalled a conversation he had with Paterno shortly before his death. Pilato said the former head coach told him that "if he knew what he knew now, he would have done things differently."

"I think the one positive out of all this is that if anything like this ever happens again, people will go directly to the police," Pilato said.

The Pennsylvania muralist added that he'd received dozens of e-mails from survivors of sexual abuse, asking him to paint over Sandusky's picture on his mural. The image of the former assistant coach had been erased from the rendering in November, but was only replaced with McQuaid's picture on Sunday.

Those e-mails "really made me think about the young people looking at the mural, and the young men" who had accused him of abuse, he said.

Following Sandusky's November indictment, Penn State says it has since required all university employees to complete training on recognizing and reporting suspected child abuse, and has revised its policy on the oversight of minors on campus.

Sex abusers prey on kids' trust, thrive on shame and fear, experts say

"The University now requires two or more authorized adults must be present during activities where minors are present," said school spokesman David La Torre in a written statement.

The board of trustees also commissioned an independent investigation led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate "what failures occurred and what changes we must make to ensure this doesn't happen again," the statement said.

Freeh's group has since interviewed more than 400 university employees.

Meanwhile, Matt Sandusky -- one of Jerry Sandusky's six adopted children -- said through his attorney that he was also sexually abused by his adoptive father, and that he had been prepared to testify against him. The announcement could ultimately bring additional charges against the former coach.

Addressing reporters Friday night, Jerry Sandusky's attorney said the defense had learned from prosecutors that the younger Sandusky -- who sat with his family on the first day of the trial -- could have testified as a rebuttal witness if his adoptive father had taken the stand.

Attorney Joe Amendola said his client, who denied sexually abusing Matt, "still wanted to testify," but reluctantly agreed not to for fear that his son's testimony "would destroy any chance of an acquittal."

Photos: Jerry Sandusky convicted on 45 counts

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:03 PM EDT, Thu May 30, 2013
The family of Joe Paterno plans to file a lawsuit Thursday against the NCAA seeking to overturn its sanctions against Penn State University over a child sex abuse scandal.
updated 1:50 PM EDT, Fri October 12, 2012
When all was said and done, Jerry and Dottie Sandusky did not ask the judge for mercy. Instead, they depicted the boys he sexually assaulted as ungrateful and called them liars.
updated 11:28 AM EDT, Sat October 13, 2012
The young man locked eyes with Jerry Sandusky in a packed courtroom and stared him down. He'd waited a long time for this moment.
updated 11:47 AM EDT, Sun September 2, 2012
In many ways, football is life at Penn State, a tradition synonymous with the campus. Nittany Lion fans are deeply religious about their football. Now, they begin a new era.
updated 11:27 AM EDT, Sun September 2, 2012
New students began at PSU despite a scandal that has damaged the school's reputation and prompted an ongoing investigation into allegations of a coverup by top officials.
updated 1:55 PM EDT, Sat September 1, 2012
It's an old, old story. We've all placed people on pedestals, and then, almost inevitably, they let us down. They violate our trust. They betray us. They fall off the pedestal, or we remove them.
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Tue July 24, 2012
The NCAA announced a $60 million fine against Penn State University and stripped 14 seasons of football victories from the late head coach Joe Paterno.
updated 7:33 AM EDT, Fri July 13, 2012
The extensive internal review of the debacle at Penn State forever casts a shadow over Joe Paterno.
updated 11:13 PM EDT, Thu July 12, 2012
The most powerful former leaders at Penn State University have been accused of showing "total and consistent disregard" for child sex abuse victims.
updated 8:49 PM EDT, Mon July 9, 2012
In a year marred with controversy and national notoriety, Penn State University alumni and boosters finally have something to smile about.
updated 7:29 PM EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
With the same decision announced on count after count -- guilty, guilty, guilty -- Jerry Sandusky's emphatic denials he had sexually abused boys became obsolete.
Jerry Sandusky admitted showering with boys but denied the sex accusations. Here is what Sandusky has said publicly in the months before the trial.
updated 3:29 PM EDT, Sat June 23, 2012
Jerry Sandusky's writings in a 2000 memoir about the difficult relationship with his adopted son are similar to several letters he wrote to a boy now known as alleged victim No. 4.
updated 4:34 PM EDT, Sun June 17, 2012
The words came haltingly, punctuated by ragged sighs, groans and cracking voices as two teenage boys bared their darkest secrets to a packed courtroom.
Here's a look at some the key players and pertinent facts about the case and how it all unraveled.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT