HARRISBURG, Penn. (WJZ) — Three top former leaders at Penn State University are ordered to go to trial, accused of failing to act in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. A judge in Harrisburg calls it a tragic day for Penn State.
Kai Jackson has more on the case against the university’s former president and top administrators.
The three men will now have their day in court, even if it’s not what they wanted.
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier, retired Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley will all stand trial in Pennsylvania. A judge ruled that the trio will face obstruction of justice and other charges related to the Sandusky sex abuse scandal. The three men have pled not guilty.
“The magistrate has made his decision. We respect that decision, even if we disagree with it,” said Spanier’s attorney, Tim Lewis.
In court Tuesday, Spanier’s grand jury testimony was read in court. Spanier testified that he wasn’t aware of allegations that Sandusky showered with a boy in 1998. It went on to say that when Schultz and Curley came to Spanier in 2001 with more allegations that Sandusky was seen in a shower naked with a young boy, Spanier claims he was only told they were horsing around and not that anything sexual had taken place.
“Those particular words that he spoke to the grand jury are most definitely quite different and dramatically different from the email exchanges,” said the victim’s attorney, Tom Kline.
Email exchanges that prosecutors say show a paper trail of the three men trying to cover up the scandal, thus allowing Sandusky to continue abusing children, a scandal that cost legendary coach Joe Paterno his job in November 2011.
Baltimore attorney Byron Warnken believes prosecutors will focus on that paper trail.
“Nowadays, everybody puts everything in emails, so I mean, I’m sure there is a very good paper trail because when they sent their very first emails, they weren’t figuring, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m going to be prosecuted for perjury one day,” said Byron Warnken.
The judge who determined there’s enough evidence for a trial called this a tragic day for Penn State University.