2 Penn State ex-administrators plead guilty in sex abuse case
Two former top Penn State administrators Monday pleaded guilty to child endangerment for their role in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.
Former athletic director Tim Curley and onetime university Vice President Gary Schultz, both of whom have maintained their innocence for more than five years, entered misdemeanor guilty pleas in a Harrisburg courtroom to charges that they failed to report allegations from an assistant coach who told them he saw Sandusky sexually molesting a boy in a university locker room in 2001
Sandusky, a retired defensive coordinator who led a now-defunct charity for troubled children, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for sexually molesting 10 boys in and around university facilities between 1998 and 2009.
The case rocked the world of college sports, led to the ouster of the late hall of fame coach Joe Paterno, and triggered $93 million in civil settlements from Penn State to 33 men who claimed they were abused by Sandusky as children. The NCAA also levied a $48 million penalty against the university that is funding anti-child-abuse efforts in Pennsylvania.
Curley and Schultz have yet to be sentenced on the charge, which carries a maximum of five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Monday's pleas raised the possibility that Curley and Schultz may be called to testify when the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office tries former Penn State president Graham Spanier.
Curley and Schultz originally were scheduled to stand trial with Spanier next week on charges of conspiracy and child endangerment. Conspiracy charges against Schultz and Curley were dismissed under terms of their pleas.
Neither Spanier's attorney nor spokesmen for the Attorney General Josh Shapiro immediately returned calls for comment Monday.
Authorities maintained Curley, Schultz and Spanier discussed the shower room allegations from former assistant coach Michael McQueary. They decided against reporting it to authorities, opting to order Sandusky not to bring children on campus.
The incident surfaced nearly a decade later when McQueary became a witness in a grand jury investigating new allegations against Sandusky.
Investigators later learned that Schultz kept a locked file that contained records about the 2001 incident as well as a 1998 report of possible abuse by Sandusky that police ruled unfounded.
Last fall, McQueary, who was fired after the Sandusky scandal broke, was awarded $12.3 million in a whistle-blower lawsuit that claimed the school defamed him and retaliated against for him speaking out against Sandusky.
Schultz and Curley were charged with child endangerment and conspiracy in November 2011 when Sandusky was arrested following a lengthy grand jury investigation. Spanier, who was ousted as university president shortly after the scandal broke, wasn't charged until a year later.
The case against the three men has dragged on because of a dispute about their representation during a grand jury appearance by Penn State's then-chief counsel Cynthia Baldwin. That legal fight prompted the Superior Court decision that threw out several charges, including perjury and obstruction.
Spanier is paid $600,000 a year under the terms of a separation agreement that left him titled as a Penn State professor.
Spanier repeatedly has maintained his innocence on all charges and is suing Penn State, claiming officials breached the terms of his separation agreement by allowing officials to issue defamatory statements and for failing to give him office space or classes.
The Associated Press contributed. Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer.She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or email@example.com.