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 News

in Music

Soundgarden fan sends death threats to Chris Cornell

Fresh
Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs at Rock on the Range on Sunday, May 19, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio.

An obsessed fan of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell has been arrested and charged with sending death threats to the rocker and his family.

in Music

Arcade Fire confused by fans’ love for free downloads

Fresh
Win Butler and Reed Parry of Arcade Fire perform at the 2014 Big Day Out Festival.

Arcade Fire are baffled by the avalanche of online file-sharing because fans will regularly buy expensive coffee but expect to get records for free.

in Entertainment

Jamie Foxx to portray Mike Tyson in biopic

Actor Jamie Foxx poses for a portrait at the Crosby Street Hotel, in promotion of his upcoming role in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," on Sunday, April 27, 2014 in New York.

Jamie Foxx is set to portray boxing legend Mike Tyson in a movie after five years of preparation for the role.

in Music

Lars Ulrich fuels AC/DC Glastonbury rumor

Lars Ulrich of Metallica poses for portraits at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. Ulrich is promoting the film Metallica Through The Never, directed by Nimrod Antal.

Metallica star Lars Ulrich has fueled rumors rock veterans AC/DC will headline Britain's iconic Glastonbury festival next year.

in Entertainment

Kiefer Sutherland confused by Freddie Prinze, Jr. blast

Prinze Jr Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland has been left baffled by former 24 co-star Freddie Prinze, Jr.'s public attack on the star's professionalism.