Early Start's new website

Head to http://www.cnn.com/shows/early-start for your news.




October 24th, 2012
06:25 AM ET

Sandusky 'victim #1' reveals abuse details in new book 'Silent No More' – Patriot-News reporter Sarah Ganim explains

Nearly a year since the Penn State scandal erupted, a new book by 'victim #1' of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky comes out this week.

Identified as 18-year-old Aaron Fisher, he wrote the book with the help of his mother and psychologist Michael Gillum. “Silent No More” chronicles Fisher’s abuse, his psychological trauma and his ambitions to become a cop.

Sarah Ganim, the Patriot News reporter who first broke the story of the grand jury investigation into Sandusky’s case back in March of 2011, is mentioned in the book. A Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter and CNN Contributor, Ganim talks to John Berman on “Early Start” to share her take on the case and the inspiring new book.

Ganim says the book was “a pretty brave account.” The majority of the book was written by his psychologist, and Ganim personally wrote six chapters about his experience. “My first impression was that this kid has come a really long way from three or four years ago, when he came forward.”

Ganim remarks that Fisher was “one of the most emotional, most hesitant” victims to came forward to describe what happened to him in the times that he was interviewed. “He really makes great strides to explain what happened to him, to explain what the sexual abuse was like.” Ganim thinks he intends “to give some hope to victims who are still silent.”

August 23rd, 2012
08:36 AM ET

Fmr. Penn State President Graham Spanier speaks with Jeffrey Toobin, says he was unjustly accused and wasn't aware of abuse

The former president of Penn State University is finally speaking out, addressing accusations that he concealed allegations against former football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Graham Spanier is not charged with a crime, but he was cited in a report by former FBI director Louis Freeh who says Spanier "empowered" Sandusky to attract victims to campus. Freeh's report asserted that ultimately, Spanier failed to protect children for more than a decade.

There are also a lot of questions about what Spanier knew and when he knew it, especially after an incident in 2001 when Sandusky was spotted in a shower with a child.

CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin sat down with Spanier for an extensive interview, and he shares details from his piece on "Early Start" this morning.

He says Spanier's "mindset is: I am unjustly accused. He feels like, look, Jerry Sandusky was an evil, evil man, but I didn't know he was abusing children, and more to the point, it is not fair to assume I should have known."

Read more from Jeffrey Toobin's interview in his New Yorker piece "Former Penn State President Graham Spanier Speaks."

Filed under: Penn State scandal
July 27th, 2012
07:49 AM ET

Alleged Sandusky voice mails released – Jason Carroll reports

(CNN) - Attorneys for one of the victims Jerry Sandusky was convicted of abusing have released two voice mails that they say the former coach left on their client's phone just prior to his 2011 arrest - potential fodder for a civil lawsuit they now plan to file against Penn State and others.

The recordings are allegedly among "numerous voice mails" unearthed during an investigation, and were left on the phone of a person identified as Victim 2, attorneys with the firm Ross Feller Casey said in a statement Thursday.

On Early Start this morning, CNN's Jason Carroll discusses these new voice mails and Victim 2's plans to sue Penn State University.

Filed under: Penn State scandal • Sandusky
July 24th, 2012
02:10 PM ET

Former New York Giant Tiki Barber says NCAA sanctions are 'harsh'

Tiki Barber, a former New York Giants running back weighs in on the NCAA's recent announcement to impose sanctions against Penn State.

Barber says, "I think the NCAA is trying to take steps to where the NFL is...where if you get situations like this, you come down as hard as possible to set an example." Barber went on to say whether the sanctions will work or not has yet to be seen.

Barber spoke with CNN Early Start's John Berman about his belief that “a lot of sanctions like this are going to start happening around the NCAA because violations happen frequently."

Filed under: Penn State scandal
July 24th, 2012
02:10 PM ET

NCAA slaps Penn State with a $60 million fine – Susan Candiotti reports

Massive punishments are following an independent investigation led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh surrounding the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State. Early Monday, the NCAA announced sanctions against the university including a $60 million fine as well as a four-year ban from bowl games.

Penn State's President Rodney Erickson says, "Penn State's a very resilient university and I'm always struck by the sense of resolve people have here when confronted with a situation like this."

The sanctions will also result in the loss of 10 scholarships per year for the next four years, leaving Penn State's football future hanging in the balance.

Susan Candiotti reports.

Filed under: Penn State scandal
July 23rd, 2012
01:05 PM ET

NCAA to hammer Penn State with sanctions – Susan Candiotti explains

As the Paterno statue is removed from outside Beaver Stadium, new disciplinary actions threaten the football community of Penn State. A source close to the case tells CNN the NCAA is set to punish the university with sanctions based on the findings of the Freeh report. The "significant, unprecedented penalties" will include fines of more than $30 million dollars and the loss of a number of scholarships.

While not divulging specifics, the source said, "The penalties go well beyond the loss of a scholarship or not being able to go to a bowl game." Susan Candiotti reports.

Filed under: College • Crime • Jerry Sandusky • Penn State scandal
June 12th, 2012
06:17 AM ET

Victim #1 expected to testify in Sandusky trial today – Susan Candiotti explains how his story first triggered the investigation into child rape allegations

Editor's note: This story contains graphic descriptions of alleged sexual abuse.

(From CNN Wires – Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (CNN)) - The alleged victim whose allegations triggered the criminal investigation into Jerry Sandusky is expected to take the stand Tuesday in the former Penn State assistant football coach's child rape trial, kicking off the second day of testimony in the high-profile case.

Michael Boni, a lawyer for the person identified in court documents as Victim 1, told CNN on Monday night his client is "ready to go."

The grand jury report cited evidence that Sandusky, who met the boy when he was 11 or 12 years old, "indecently fondled Victim 1 on a number of occasions, performed oral sex on Victim 1 on a number of occasions and had Victim 1 perform oral sex on him on at least one occasion."

The teenager, who transferred schools amid the fallout from the Sandusky investigation, graduated from his new high school this past weekend, according to Boni. He is contemplating scholarship offers from colleges, the lawyer adds.

This morning on "Early Start," Susan Candiott explains victim #1's story and what we can expect from his testimony today.


Filed under: Jerry Sandusky • Penn State scandal
June 11th, 2012
07:54 AM ET

Victim #4 expected to testify today in opening of Jerry Sandusky trial – Sara Ganim explains

From CNN wires:

(CNN) - Opening statements in the trial of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach charged with child rape, are scheduled to start Monday.

Sandusky, 68, has been under house arrest since being charged with sexually abusing 10 boys for at least 15 years. Prosecutors allege that he met some of his accusers through Second Mile, a charity he created for underprivileged children.

In interviews after his arrest, Sandusky acknowledged showering and "horsing around" with boys but denied being sexually attracted to them. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A jury of five men and seven women, along with four alternates, was selected last week. Half of the 16 jurors and alternates have ties to Penn State, including one retired professor and one current professor, three graduates, two employees and one current student, showing the prominence of the university in the local community.

Authorities allege that Sandusky abused some of the boys on the Penn State campus. The case has shaken the school, raised questions about its response to the allegations and drawn criticism from those who claim Penn State put its reputation ahead of protecting potential child victims.

CNN contributor Sara Ganim previews what to expect from today's opening statements, and what we could hear when one of Sandusky's alleged victims is expected to take the stand today.


Filed under: Jerry Sandusky • Penn State scandal
June 6th, 2012
06:14 AM ET

Jury selection in Sandusky trial continues amidst reports the former coach allegedly gave gifts, wrote letters to victims

Susan Candiotti on jury selection in the Sandusky trial and new reports claim he gave victims letters and gifts.

Filed under: Jerry Sandusky • Penn State scandal
June 5th, 2012
07:07 AM ET

Jury selection begins in Sandusky trial – Sara Ganim on what to expect

Jury selection in the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is scheduled to start today. Sandusky is charged charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over 14 years. Last week, the judge denied his lawyers request to delay the trial. The judge also ruling yesterday the alleged victims' identities may not be concealed during the trial.

Patriot News Reporter and CNN contributor Sara Ganim, who won a Pulitzer Prize covering the Penn State scandal, on what we can expect at the start of the trial.

Filed under: Jerry Sandusky • Penn State scandal