Judge Orders Trial for Two Penn State Officials

By Kevin Johnson and Audrey Snyder (USA Today)
December 16, 2011

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A district judge ruled Friday that two Penn State officials can be tried on charges of lying to a grand jury in the university's child sex-abuse scandal.

District Judge William Wenner ruled that prosecutors had probable cause to send the case against Tim Curley and Gary Schultz to trial.Wenner heard testimony against Curley and Schultz on charges they lied to a grand jury and didn't properly report an allegation that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused a boy in a locker room shower in 2002.

Following the day-long hearing, the lawyers for Curley and Schultz said they expected both men to be acquitted at trial.

"Gary told the truth," attorney Tom Farrell told reporters gathered in the lobby of the Dauphin County Courthouse, referring to Schultz. " Gary will be acquitted."

Curley's attorney, Caroline Roberto, said the prosecution lacks critical corroborating evidence that supports McQueary's claim that he informed both administrators of Sandusky's alleged crime.

"It just can't be one person's word against another," Roberto said. "They will never be able to reach their burden of proof at trial." She said Curley has a long reputation of "honesty, truthfulness and integrity."

The hearing Friday centered on two hours of testimony by Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary who said he believes he saw Sandusky molesting a boy and that he fully conveyed what he had seen to former athletic director Curley and former senior vice president Schultz.

But he said he was not 100% sure that what he saw was intercourse.

It was the first time Mike McQueary had spoken in public about the alleged incident that's at the core of a sexual abuse scandal that brought down legendary football coach Joe Paterno and the university's president and has raised questions about whether the football program was more important than the safety of children.

McQueary had told the grand jury that he witnessed Sandusky raping a child believed to be about 10 years old in 2002.

McQueary said Friday that he heard "rhythmic slapping sounds" in a locker room shower and saw Sandusky with his arms wrapped around a child.

"I believe they were having some kind of intercourse," McQueary said as his mother sat in the courtroom on the verge of tears.

McQueary said he moved toward the shower and Sandusky separated from the boy.

"I know they saw me," he said. "They looked directly in my eye, both of them."

McQueary said he then left.

"I was distraught and horrified," he said.

Under cross-examination McQueary said: "I didn't see insertion or penetration. I testify that I cannot tell you 1,000% sure that's what I saw." He said he saw no part of Sandusky's genitals touching the boy.

Friday's court appearances for the two administrators come just three days after Sandusky, the primary suspect in the child sex abuse investigation, abruptly waived his right to a preliminary hearing where 11 witnesses — many of them alleged victims — were poised to testify against him.

The waiver means that Sandusky's case is directly referred to trial on 52 counts of child abuse and misconduct.

The charges against Curley and Schultz hinge largely on McQueary's testimony. They told the grand jury that McQueary reported only that Sandusky was involved in "inappropriate" conduct with a young boy and that the report did not include details about the rape of a young boy.

McQueary's story has become the centerpiece of the case against Sandusky and the administrators. But since his grand jury testimony there have been several reports of inconsistencies in what he might have seen and reported.

Defense attorney Joe Amendola said Tuesday that his strategy to prove that Sandusky is innocent will be to attack McQueary's credibility. Lawyers for Curley and Schultz have also said they plan to take the same approach.

Preliminary hearings in Pennsylvania limit defense challenges into witness credibility.

But Friday's testimony was consistent with McQueary's grand jury testimony.

He said that he estimated the boy he saw was about 10 or 12 years old, Caucasian and had wet hair, and that when he saw him in the shower he was facing a wall with his hands on it.

He said that after he left he drove to his dad's house and over time that evening he decided to tell Paterno about the incident.

At Paterno's house the next day, sitting at his kitchen table, McQueary said he described what he saw and that he told Paterno that Sandusky was in a "sexual" act with the child and described it as "extremely sexual."

McQueary said he did not give Paterno explicit details of what he believed he'd seen, saying he wouldn't have used terms like sodomy or anal intercourse out of respect for the longtime coach. He described it as "rough positioning" of Sandusky and the boy.

He said Paterno told him he had "done the right thing" by reporting what he saw. The head coach appeared shocked and saddened and slumped back in his chair, McQueary said.

In grand jury testimony read into the court record Friday, Paterno said McQueary told him that Sandusky was doing something of a "sexual nature" with a young boy. He told McQueary he "did the right thing" by telling him and called Curley within a week and told him, "we have a problem."

Deputy Attorney General Marc Costanzo said he expected that Paterno will eventually be called to testify at trial.

McQueary said Friday that 10 days after speaking with Paterno, he met with Curley and Schultz.

"There is no question in my mind that I conveyed to them that I saw Jerry Sandusky in the showers with a boy and there was severe sexual acts going on and it was wrong and over the line," he said.

But he said he did not use the words "anal intercourse" or "sodomy."

Curley testified to the grand jury that McQueary told him that he saw Sandusky "horsing around" with a child in the showers and that "they were playful," according the transcript of his grand jury testimony.

Asked whether the activity involved anal intercourse, Curley told the grand jury: "Absolutely not."

He said he didn't report it to police because he didn't believe it was a crime.

Schultz told the grand jury, according to the transcript, that McQueary and Paterno related their concerns "in a general way" that did not involve specific allegations.

Schultz said he believed the incident had been referred to the state child protection authorities.

McQueary said Friday that Schultz never followed up with him, but that neither Schultz or Curley told him not to talk to anyone.

"Joe Paterno did ask me ... two or three months after that ... if I was OK in relation to what I saw and if I was handling it OK," McQueary said.

McQueary said he was left with the impression both men took his report seriously. When asked why he didn't go to police, he referenced Schultz's position as a vice president at the university who had overseen the campus police.

"I thought I was talking to the head of the police, to be frank with you," he said. "In my mind it was like speaking to a (district attorney). It was someone who police reported to and would know what to do with it."

McQueary's father, John McQueary, also testified and said he related to Schultz what his son had witnessed in the shower room involving Sandusky. He said he described Sandusky's behavior, as related by his son, as "sexual in nature ... and that something should be done about it."

"I told him enough that I feel like he got the picture," John McQueary told the courtroom. "I never used the word 'crime.' "

Former Penn State police chief Tom Harmon testified that he alerted Schultz to a 1998 investigation of abuse allegations involving Sandusky. Harmon said he spoke to Schultz four times during the course of that inquiry. Harmon eventually referred that investigation to the local district attorney, who did not pursue criminal charges.

Harmon said Schultz never alerted him to the 2002 allegations.

Both administrators told the grand jury they did not attempt to find the boy involved in the 2002 incident. Schultz said there was "no basis" to believe Sandusky was involved in sexual activity with a child based on McQueary's account.

"Gary told the truth," attorney Tom Farrell told reporters gathered in the lobby of the Dauphin County Courthouse, referring to Schultz. " Gary will be acquitted."

Curley's attorney, Caroline Roberto, said the prosecution lacks critical corroborating evidence that supports McQueary's claim that he informed both administrators of Sandusky's alleged crime.

"It just can't be one person's word against another," Roberto said. "They will never be able to reach their burden of proof at trial." She said Curley has a long reputation of "honesty, truthfulness and integrity."

The hearing Friday centered on two hours of testimony by Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary who said he believes he saw Sandusky molesting a boy and that he fully conveyed what he had seen to former athletic director Curley and former senior vice president Schultz.

But he said he was not 100% sure that what he saw was intercourse.

It was the first time Mike McQueary had spoken in public about the alleged incident that's at the core of a sexual abuse scandal that brought down legendary football coach Joe Paterno and the university's president and has raised questions about whether the football program was more important than the safety of children.

McQueary had told the grand jury that he witnessed Sandusky raping a child believed to be about 10 years old in 2002.

McQueary said Friday that he heard "rhythmic slapping sounds" in a locker room shower and saw Sandusky with his arms wrapped around a child.

"I believe they were having some kind of intercourse," McQueary said as his mother sat in the courtroom on the verge of tears.

McQueary said he moved toward the shower and Sandusky separated from the boy.

"I know they saw me," he said. "They looked directly in my eye, both of them."

McQueary said he then left.

"I was distraught and horrified," he said.

Under cross-examination McQueary said: "I didn't see insertion or penetration. I testify that I cannot tell you 1,000% sure that's what I saw." He said he saw no part of Sandusky's genitals touching the boy.

Friday's court appearances for the two administrators come just three days after Sandusky, the primary suspect in the child sex abuse investigation, abruptly waived his right to a preliminary hearing where 11 witnesses — many of them alleged victims — were poised to testify against him.

The waiver means that Sandusky's case is directly referred to trial on 52 counts of child abuse and misconduct.

The charges against Curley and Schultz hinge largely on McQueary's testimony. They told the grand jury that McQueary reported only that Sandusky was involved in "inappropriate" conduct with a young boy and that the report did not include details about the rape of a young boy.

McQueary's story has become the centerpiece of the case against Sandusky and the administrators. But since his grand jury testimony there have been several reports of inconsistencies in what he might have seen and reported.

Defense attorney Joe Amendola said Tuesday that his strategy to prove that Sandusky is innocent will be to attack McQueary's credibility. Lawyers for Curley and Schultz have also said they plan to take the same approach.

Preliminary hearings in Pennsylvania limit defense challenges into witness credibility.

But Friday's testimony was consistent with McQueary's grand jury testimony.

He said that he estimated the boy he saw was about 10 or 12 years old, Caucasian and had wet hair, and that when he saw him in the shower he was facing a wall with his hands on it.

He said that after he left he drove to his dad's house and over time that evening he decided to tell Paterno about the incident.

At Paterno's house the next day, sitting at his kitchen table, McQueary said he described what he saw and that he told Paterno that Sandusky was in a "sexual" act with the child and described it as "extremely sexual."

McQueary said he did not give Paterno explicit details of what he believed he'd seen, saying he wouldn't have used terms like sodomy or anal intercourse out of respect for the longtime coach. He described it as "rough positioning" of Sandusky and the boy.

He said Paterno told him he had "done the right thing" by reporting what he saw. The head coach appeared shocked and saddened and slumped back in his chair, McQueary said.

In grand jury testimony read into the court record Friday, Paterno said McQueary told him that Sandusky was doing something of a "sexual nature" with a young boy. He told McQueary he "did the right thing" by telling him and called Curley within a week and told him, "we have a problem."

Deputy Attorney General Marc Costanzo said he expected that Paterno will eventually be called to testify at trial.

McQueary said Friday that 10 days after speaking with Paterno, he met with Curley and Schultz.

"There is no question in my mind that I conveyed to them that I saw Jerry Sandusky in the showers with a boy and there was severe sexual acts going on and it was wrong and over the line," he said.

But he said he did not use the words "anal intercourse" or "sodomy."

Curley testified to the grand jury that McQueary told him that he saw Sandusky "horsing around" with a child in the showers and that "they were playful," according the transcript of his grand jury testimony.

Asked whether the activity involved anal intercourse, Curley told the grand jury: "Absolutely not."

He said he didn't report it to police because he didn't believe it was a crime.

Schultz told the grand jury, according to the transcript, that McQueary and Paterno related their concerns "in a general way" that did not involve specific allegations.

Schultz said he believed the incident had been referred to the state child protection authorities.

McQueary said Friday that Schultz never followed up with him, but that neither Schultz or Curley told him not to talk to anyone.

"Joe Paterno did ask me ... two or three months after that ... if I was OK in relation to what I saw and if I was handling it OK," McQueary said.

McQueary said he was left with the impression both men took his report seriously. When asked why he didn't go to police, he referenced Schultz's position as a vice president at the university who had overseen the campus police.

"I thought I was talking to the head of the police, to be frank with you," he said. "In my mind it was like speaking to a (district attorney). It was someone who police reported to and would know what to do with it."

McQueary's father, John McQueary, also testified and said he related to Schultz what his son had witnessed in the shower room involving Sandusky. He said he described Sandusky's behavior, as related by his son, as "sexual in nature ... and that something should be done about it."

"I told him enough that I feel like he got the picture," John McQueary told the courtroom. "I never used the word 'crime.' "

Former Penn State police chief Tom Harmon testified that he alerted Schultz to a 1998 investigation of abuse allegations involving Sandusky. Harmon said he spoke to Schultz four times during the course of that inquiry. Harmon eventually referred that investigation to the local district attorney, who did not pursue criminal charges.

Harmon said Schultz never alerted him to the 2002 allegations.

Both administrators told the grand jury they did not attempt to find the boy involved in the 2002 incident. Schultz said there was "no basis" to believe Sandusky was involved in sexual activity with a child based on McQueary's account.