Penn State officials headed to trial for perjury
Harrisburg, PA – Two former Penn State officials are headed to trial on charges that they lied about and failed to report an alleged sexual assault by former Nittany Lions football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Tim Curley and Gary Schultz had a preliminary hearing Friday in Dauphin County, and both were held for court on charges of perjury and failure to report. Their arraignment is set for January 19.
They were charged with the crimes last month in connection with charges against Sandusky. He was charged with 40 counts of various sexual crimes against children revealed in a grand jury presentment, which found that eight young men were the targets of sexual advances or assaults starting in 1994 and continuing through 2009.
A particular incident led to the charges against Curley, Penn State's athletic director, and Schultz, who oversaw the school's police department.
According to grand jury testimony, assistant football coach Mike McQueary said he witnessed Sandusky raping a young boy in the showers at Penn State's football facility in 2002. McQueary reported it to then-head coach Joe Paterno, who informed Curley but apparently took no further steps.
Friday's hearing was held to determine if there was enough evidence to go to trial, and featured testimony from McQueary and his father, as well as readings from the grand jury testimony of Curley, Schultz and Paterno.
At issue is whether or not Curley and Schultz lied when they told the grand jury they didn't think a crime had been committed. In their grand jury testimony, they said McQueary did not describe the alleged act as sexual abuse.
However, according to the Patriot-News, McQueary testified Friday he said in a meeting with Curley and Schultz that what he saw was "extremely sexual, extremely wrong and...some type of intercourse."
He described the alleged incident in detail Friday. According the paper, he said he heard a "rhythmic slapping sound," in a locker room of a Penn State football facility on a Friday, and saw Sandusky close behind a young boy in the shower.
McQueary said the two saw him, but he didn't say anything or intervene. Instead, he called his father and went to his house that night, then called Paterno the next morning.
McQueary said he told Paterno that what he saw was "extremely sexual" in nature. But McQueary said he didn't report the incident because "it was delicate," according to the paper.
However, Curley's grand jury testimony painted a different picture of the meeting. According to the Patriot-News, he said McQueary said Sandusky and the boy were "horsing around," and that McQueary did not indicate that the act was of a sexual nature or that Sandusky was anally raping the boy.
Curley told the grand jury that he did not report the incident because he did not think a crime had been committed, the paper said.
Similarly, Schultz told the grand jury that he did not think a crime had occurred. According to the Patriot-News, he said he had the impression Sandusky was wrestling with the boy and grabbed his genitals in a "horsing around" way. He also told the grand jury he thought it was inappropriate behavior, but believed Curley would handle the situation.
The culpability of Curley and Schultz rests largely on McQueary, but testimony from McQueary's father, John, spoke to inaction by Schultz.
According to the Patriot-News, he testified Friday that he contacted Schultz and told him that his son saw Sandusky in the shower with the boy. But said that it appeared the system wasn't doing much about the alleged act, and added that Schultz "did nothing" about it.
Paterno's grand jury testimony was also read, and the Patriot-News reported he said McQueary told him Sandusky was fondling a young boy in the shower. Paterno said he thought Curley would handle the situation appropriately, but wasn't sure when he contacted Curley because it was Saturday and he didn't want to disrupt the athletic director's weekend.
Paterno has not been charged with a crime, but he was fired several days after the charges against Sandusky were revealed.