News

Penn State officials face court hearing in Sandusky scandal

Penn State officials face court hearing in Sandusky scandal

Jerry Sandusky (C) leaves the Centre County Courthouse after his sentencing in his child sex abuse case in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania October 9, 2012 file photo. Photo: Reuters/Pat Little

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – A judge on Monday will start hearing evidence against three former Penn State officials accused of covering up an early report that coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused a child, allowing him to molest boys for years.

Sandusky, 69, a former assistant football coach, was convicted in June 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse involving 10 boys. He is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years in a state prison.

The three university officials are Graham Spanier, 65, who was fired as president amid the scandal that rocked the high-stakes world of college football; Athletic Director Tim Curley, 59, who was placed on administrative leave, and retired Senior Vice President Gary Schultz, 63.

At the hearing in Dauphin County Court, both sides will argue their case stemming from a November 2012 grand jury report. Harrisburg District Judge William Wenner will decide if there is enough evidence to bring the case to trial.

The grand jury accused Spanier, Curley and Schultz of failing to alert authorities after Mike McQueary, an assistant football coach, told school officials in 2001 that he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in a locker room shower.

Prosecutors said the “conspiracy of silence” permitted Sandusky to continue preying on boys, most of whom he met through a charity he founded for at-risk youth.

Sandusky was arrested in November 2011 and charged with molesting boys. A year later, in November 2012, a grand jury charged Spanier, Curley and Schultz with endangering the welfare of children, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Spanier also was charged with perjury.

Curley and Schultz were previously charged in November 2011 with perjury and failure to report suspected abuse.

Within weeks of Sandusky’s arrest, Penn State Trustees fired Spanier, at the time the nation’s highest-paid public university president. Trustees also fired revered head football coach Joe Paterno, Sandusky’s boss. Months later, Paterno, 85, died of lung cancer.

Civil lawsuits filed by the victims, now grown men, against the university are close to being settled, with the school putting aside $60 million to cover the claims, according to a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs. The attorney said there were as many as 32 claims from alleged victims.

Spanier’s lawyers also have served legal notice that they intend to file defamation charges against Louis Freeh, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Freeh was the author of a study, commissioned by the university, spelling out a narrative of the scandal that many in the state rejected, including the Paterno family.

The Freeh report prompted the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the governing body for college sports, to issue sanctions against Penn State. The NCAA imposed a $60 million fine and voided the 14 seasons of football victories Sandusky coached.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend’s celebrity birthdays

Fresh
diaz

A look at the celebrities who will be celebrating this weekend.

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

little

A look at the biggest stories and best photography in sports this week.

in Entertainment

WATCH: 10 best ‘Simpsons’ episodes

In this photo released by Fox, Homer explains why he wants to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display, after it's cancelled for budget reasons, in the "Yellow Badge of Cowardge" Season Finale episode of "The Simpsons," in May 2014. The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be paired this fall with a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. "I'm not going to over-promise, but I think this website will provide you with affordable health care," longtime "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean told a TV critics' meeting Monday, July 21, 2014.

The recent marathon of all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons" inspired us to sit down and come up with our 10 favorite episodes. Enjoy!

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

yankees

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in Music

Robert Plant urges Jimmy Page to give up Led Zeppelin reunion

2012 Kennedy Center Honorees and members of the band Led Zeppelin, from left, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Robert Plant chat on the red carpet after arriving at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at the State Department in Washington.

Robert Plant has urged his former Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page to end his war of words with the singer and concentrate on recording new music.