Two former Penn State administrators entered guilty pleas Monday relating to the alleged coverup of child sexual abuse committed by longtime Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Per the Associated Press, Tim Curley, the school’s former athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the school’s former vice president, both pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment. The charges, originally levied in 2011, were reduced from felonies.
The charge stemmed from a 2001 complaint made by former Penn State assistant Mike McQueary, who was then serving as a graduate assistant after playing quarterback for the Nittany Lions. McQueary has testified on multiple occasions that he saw Sandusky, then two years removed his final game as a PSU assistant, abusing a boy in a shower at the football team’s facility. McQueary said he told then-PSU head coach Joe Paterno, who is said to have passed the information up the chain of command to Curley and Schultz.
Former PSU president Graham Spanier was also briefed. Spanier was charged in 2012, but was not present in the courtroom Monday morning as Curley and Schultz offered their pleas.
According to PennLive.com, Curley and Schultz could testify against Spanier. The three were also facing perjury, obstruction of justice and other charges, but they were dismissed in a Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling last year. The child endangerment charge against Spanier remains.
Prosecutors said that none of the Penn State administrators who were told of the allegation reported it to law enforcement, childcare and youth services or made any effort to locate or identify the child.
Curley entered his plea first, followed by Schultz. Both mean answered questions posed by the prosecutor and the judge, but did not otherwise speak.
The move comes just a week before all three men — Spanier, Schultz and Curley — were scheduled to stand trial on accusations they were criminally negligent in handling child-sex accusations against Sandusky in 2001. Prosecutors claim their actions, or lack of same, exposed several more boys to molestation by Sandusky.
Sandusky was not arrested until November 2011, a decade after the men were informed of McQueary’s concerns. Sandusky’s arrest led to the firing of Paterno, who testified in winter 2011 that McQueary told him he had seen Sandusky “fondling a young boy” and that it was “of a sexual nature” without getting into specifics. Paterno, the winningest coach in FBS history, died in January 2012 of lung cancer. He has been criticized for not doing more after hearing from McQueary and passing the information to Curley.
Per PennLive.com, the presiding judge said Monday there is no agreement on sentencing for Curley or Schultz. The two face a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and five years in prison.
For more Penn State news, visit BlueWhiteIllustrated.com.
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