Three former Penn State administrators, including an ex-university president, will stand trial on charges that they tried to cover up evidence of sex abuse by former football Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky.
District Judge William Wenner ruled that ex-President Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz, and ex-athletic director Tim Curley should stand trial after holding a two-day preliminary hearing in Harrisburg, Pa., according to the Associated Press.
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Lead state prosecutor Bruce Beener said in his closing argument that the men failed to tell police that Sandusky molested a boy in 2001 in a university locker room shower, despite knowing that police investigated complaints about Sandusky showering with boys in 1998.
Sandusky served as defensive coordinator under Penn State longtime head coach Joe Paterno until his retirement in 1999. Last year, Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison.
The scandal ended the late Paterno's 46-year coaching career at Penn State, and the football program was slapped with a four-year post-season bowl game ban and scholarship reductions. Penn State was hit with a $60 million fine, The Patriot-News reported.
What pushed the judge to decide to make the three stand trial? Emails between the three administrators that discussed Sandusky's abuse in 1998 and 2001 and the account of Mike McQueary, a former team assistant and quarterback who said he had immediately told Schultz, Curley, and the late longtime football coach Joe Paterno that he had seen Sandusky molesting a boy -- dubbed Victim 2 in court documents -- in the shower in 2001, according to the AP.
USA Today reported attorneys for Schultz and Curley asserted
that McQueary did not indicate the activity was sexual in nature, and Spanier insisted his communications with Schultz and Curley did not include descriptions of sexual conduct.
The three administrators were charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy. Those charges include allegations of hiding evidence from investigators and lying to the grand jury.
Penn State and the Paterno family declined to comment after the hearing, the AP reported.
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