2 ex-Penn State officials plead guilty in sex abuse case

2017-03-14 05:48


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Harrisburg - Two former Penn State University administrators on Monday pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment for their roles in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case, more than five years after the scandal engulfed the school and led to coach Joe Paterno's downfall.

Ex-Athletic Director Tim Curley and former university Vice President Gary Schultz originally were charged with felonies. The reduced charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Penn State ex-President Graham Spanier was also charged in the case. He was not in the Harrisburg courtroom on Monday morning, though his attorneys were. His prosecution appears to be moving forward, with jury selection scheduled for next week.

Sexual abuse

The three handled a 2001 complaint by a graduate assistant who said he saw Sandusky, a retired defensive football coach, sexually abusing a boy in a team shower. They did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities but told Sandusky he was not allowed to bring children to the campus.

Sandusky was not arrested until a decade later. He was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys and is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison term.

Shortly after Sandusky's arrest, Paterno was fired.

Schultz and Curley were arrested in 2011 and Spanier in 2012.

The three former administrators at Penn State's flagship campus in State College had also faced charges of conspiracy. Each felony count carried the possibility of seven years in prison.

Their case has dragged on for years 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.

Total payments

Penn State's costs related to the Sandusky scandal are approaching a quarter-billion dollars.

The scandal's overall cost to the school includes a recent $12m verdict in the whistleblower and defamation case brought by former assistant coach Mike McQueary, the ex-graduate assistant whose testimony helped convict Sandusky in 2012.

The university has settled with 33 people over allegations they were sexually abused by Sandusky and has made total payments to them of $93m.

The NCAA also levied a $48m penalty against the university that is now funding anti-child-abuse efforts in Pennsylvania.

Read more on:    us  |  child sex abuse

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