Of­fi­cials who cov­ered for San­dusky plead guilty

Men charged with mis­de­meanor child en­dan­ger­ment.

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - By Mark Scolforo and Marc Levy

Two for­mer HAR­RIS­BURG, PA. — Penn State ad­min­is­tra­tors ad­mit­ted Monday to mis­han­dling child-sex al­le­ga­tions against Jerry San­dusky, plead­ing guilty more than five years af­ter the scan­dal rocked the uni­ver­sity and led to the down­fall of foot­ball coach Joe Paterno.

Tim Cur­ley, a 62-year-old for­mer ath­letic di­rec­tor, and Gary Schultz, 67, a one-time vice pres­i­dent, could get up to five years in prison for mis­de­meanor child en­dan­ger­ment. No sen­tenc­ing date was set.

They struck a deal in which pros­e­cu­tors dropped three felony charges of child en­dan­ger­ment and con­spir­acy that car­ried up to seven years each.

For­mer Penn State Pres­i­dent Gra­ham Spanier, 68, was also charged in the scan­dal, and the case against him ap­pears to be mov­ing for­ward, with jury se­lec­tion set for next week. His lawyers and the lead pros­e­cu­tor had no com­ment.

The three ad­min­is­tra­tors han­dled a 2001 com­plaint by a grad­u­ate as­sis­tant who said he saw San­dusky, a re­tired mem­ber of the coach­ing staff, sex­u­ally abus­ing a boy in a team shower. They failed in their le­gal duty by not re­port­ing the mat­ter to po­lice or child wel­fare au­thor­i­ties, pros­e­cu­tors said.

As a re­sult, pros­e­cu­tors said, San­dusky went on to abuse more boys, one of them in the Penn State show­ers.

San­dusky was not ar­rested un­til a decade later. He was con­victed in 2012 of mo­lest­ing 10 boys and is serv­ing 30 to 60 years be­hind bars.

Shortly af­ter San­dusky’s ar­rest, Paterno was fired over his han­dling of the mat­ter. Paterno, one of the win­ningest coaches in col­lege foot­ball his­tory, died of lung cancer a few months later at 85. He was never charged with a crime.

A re­port com­mis­sioned by the uni­ver­sity and con­ducted by for­mer FBI Di­rec­tor Louis Freeh con­cluded that the beloved coach and the three oth­ers hushed up the al­le­ga­tions against San­dusky for fear of bad pub­lic­ity.

Robert J. Dona­toni, a past pres­i­dent of the Penn­syl­va­nia As­so­ci­a­tion of Crim­i­nal De­fense Lawyers, said state sen­tenc­ing guide­lines for mis­de­meanor child en­dan­ger­ment in­di­cate de­fen­dants with no crim­i­nal record could get pro­ba­tion or a jail term of sev­eral months.

Penn State’s costs re­lated to the San­dusky scan­dal are ap­proach­ing a quar­ter-bil­lion dol­lars.

That in­cludes a re­cent $12 mil­lion ver­dict in the whistle­blower and defama­tion case brought by Mike McQueary, the for­mer grad­u­ate coach­ing as­sis­tant whose tes­ti­mony helped con­vict San­dusky.

The uni­ver­sity has also paid $93 mil­lion in set­tle­ments with 33 peo­ple who claimed they were sex­u­ally abused by San­dusky. In ad­di­tion, Penn State was fined $48 mil­lion by the NCAA.

The NCAA im­posed other heavy sanc­tions against the foot­ball pro­gram, cut­ting schol­ar­ships, bar­ring the team from post­sea­son play and strip­ping Penn State and Paterno of 112 vic­to­ries dat­ing to 1998. The NCAA later eased its penal­ties and re­stored the wins.

This past sea­son marked the re­turn of Penn State foot­ball as a top pro­gram. The Nit­tany Li­ons made it to the Rose Bowl.

Ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tors, McQueary went to Paterno a day af­ter the shower en­counter to dis­cuss what he had seen. Paterno alerted Cur­ley and Schultz, and McQueary met with both of them about a week later.

The ad­min­is­tra­tors told San­dusky he could not bring chil­dren onto cam­pus any­more, but they had no plan to en­force that rule, pros­e­cu­tors said.

It was not un­til nine years later that an anony­mous email sent to a dis­trict at­tor­ney led in­ves­ti­ga­tors to ap­proach McQueary in the case.

Pros­e­cu­tors on Monday also cited a 1998 com­plaint against San­dusky over his show­er­ing with a boy on cam­pus that led to a cam­pus po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion and no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the county pros­e­cu­tor but no charges. San­dusky ad­mit­ted hug­ging the young­ster in the shower, and promised never to shower with a boy again.

That left San­dusky free to con­tinue work­ing with boys at his char­ity, his sum­mer foot­ball camps and the nearby high school.

The U.S. Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment fined the uni­ver­sity a record $2.4 mil­lion for not record­ing the 1998 case on its daily crime log, as re­quired un­der fed­eral law.

Gary Schultz (left) and Tim Cur­ley could each re­ceive 5-year sen­tences for their role in mis­han­dling case.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.