Trial for 2 tied to Penn State abuse case

Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary departs

Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary departs the Dauphin County Court in Harrisburg, Pa., after testifying that he believes that he saw Jerry Sandusky attacking a child with his hands around the boy's waist but said he wasn't 100 percent sure it was intercourse. (Dec. 16, 2011) (Credit: AP)

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The case against two Penn State administrators charged with lying to a grand jury and failing to report child sex abuse allegations can advance to a trial, a judge ruled Friday.

District Judge William C. Wenner decided after a preliminary hearing that prosecutors have enough evidence to move forward against Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who were charged in the wake of a grand jury investigation into former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Curley, 57, Penn State's director of athletics, has been on administrative leave since the charges were filed last month. Schultz, 62, was senior vice president for business and finance, as well as treasurer, before returning to retirement following the charges.

Authorities allege that Curley and Schultz both did not properly report an incident involving Sandusky and a young boy in the football team's locker room showers in 2002 and then were intentionally evasive when asked about their response under oath before a grand jury earlier this year.

Both men were at the hearing at Dauphin County Courthouse Friday but did not speak. Lawyers for both predicted afterward that their clients will be acquitted at a trial, taking direct aim at the testimony given at the beginning of the preliminary hearing by Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary.

McQueary testified that he walked in on Sandusky -- then a retired coach -- engaging in what McQueary believes was a sexual assault of a young boy inside the team locker room showers on a Friday night in spring of 2002.

Describing himself as "distraught" by what he had witnessed, McQueary said he immediately called his father and they ultimately decided he should report the incident to head coach Joe Paterno, who along with Curley and Schultz has been criticized for not going to the police and was fired soon after the charges became public.

McQueary testified that he visited Paterno's house the next morning and, without going into graphic details, told the coach that he had witnessed something happening between Sandusky and the unidentified child that was "extremely sexual in nature."

Paterno wasn't called to testify in court Friday, but prosecutors read from his interview before the grand jury as part of the proceedings.

According to the transcript read in court Friday, Paterno testified before the grand jury that he relayed what McQueary told him to Curley and Schultz within a few days, prosecutors told the judge. According to the transcript, Paterno said he didn't push McQueary for details because he was visibly bothered.

"I knew Mike was upset," Paterno said. "and I knew some kind of inappropriate action was being taken by Jerry Sandusky with a youngster."

McQueary testified that he told Curley and Schultz what he saw in a meeting "nine or 10 days" later.

But Curley told the grand jury he doesn't remember being told that the incident was sexual, saying that he left the meeting with the impression that McQueary saw Sandusky "horsing around" with a kid. Curley said it was his decision not to alert police and banned Sandusky from bringing children on campus. Schultz told the grand jury that he had only a general recollection of what McQueary said he witnessed, and he didn't think it was criminal.

Lawyers for Curley and Schultz made it clear after the hearing that they will be questioning McQueary's testimony at a trial. Curley's lawyer, Caroline Roberto, said Curley has "a track record of honesty" and would have remembered if McQueary told him he witnessed a sexual assault taking place in the shower. Schultz's lawyer, Thomas Farrell, questioned why McQueary never went to the police.

@jimbaumbach tweets from the Penn State abuse case hearing

 

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