On November 5, 2011, Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley was charged by the Attorney General of the State of Pennsylvania with felony perjury, a crime punishable by up to seven years in prison, along with failure to report the alleged sexual abuse of a child. (Child Protective Services Law.)
Curley’s charges stem from a Centre County (PA) Grand Jury investigation and presentment that led to former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky being charged with 40 crimes relating to the sexual abuse of children. One such allegation against Sandusky involves the rape of a 10-year-old boy in the Penn State locker room in 2002, which was witnessed by current Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary. McQueary later reported Sandusky’s alleged heinous act to Joe Paterno, Curley and Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz. (Schultz has been charged with the same crimes as Curley.)
As noted by a press release from the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly on Nov. 5:
Kelly said that rather than reporting the matter to law enforcement, Curley and Schultz agreed that Sandusky would be told he could not bring any Second Mile children into the football building. That message was also reportedly related to Dr. John Raykovitz at the Second Mile (Past Executive Director and Executive Vice-President and currently the President and CEO of the Second Mile).
Of Penn State President Graham Spanier’s knowledge of the situation, the Grand Jury reported:
Curley was not specific about the language he used in reporting the 2002 incident to Spanier. Spanier testified to his approval of the approach taken by Curley. Curley did not report the incident to the University Police, the police agency for the University Park campus or any other police agency.
Spanier testified that he was only told by Curley that there was “horsing around” in the shower between Sandusky and a young boy. Spanier added to the Grand Jury that he was told such conduct by Sandusky made a member of Curley’s staff “uncomfortable.”
In early 2010, before The Patriot-News broke the story of the Sandusky investigation, the newspaper confronted Spanier and asked him if he was aware of a grand jury investigation into Sandusky. His answer was no.
By his own testimony before the grand jury, Spanier knew as early as 2002 that Sandusky and a young boy had been witnessed “horsing around” by a staff member in the locker room of the football building.
It’s not clear if Spanier also knew about a six-week investigation by his university’s police force that centered around similar touching in a shower in 1998 that never led to charges.
The 1998 Penn State University Police investigation of Sandusky showering with at least one young boy in the Penn State locker room, which the coach admitted in the presence of two police detectives, resulted in a 100-page police report filed by the Penn State University Police Department. A police report stemming from a “lengthy” investigation of Sandusky that Spanier and Paterno currently claim they are completely unaware of.
The Grand Jury Presentment noted of Penn State’s - via Curley and Schultz - so-called ban of Sandusky:
Both the graduate assistant and Curley testified that Sandusky himself was not banned from any Penn State buildings and Curley admitted that the ban on bringing children to the campus was unenforceable.
Attorney General Kelly also noted of the action Curley and Schultz claimed they took against Sandusky:
“Despite this so-called ‘ban’, which was reviewed and approved by University President Graham Spanier without any further inquiry on his part, there was no effective change in Sandusky’s status with the school and no limits on his access to the campus. Sandusky’s ‘emeritus’ position, alleged negotiated as part of his 1999 retirement, provided him with an office in the Lasch Football Building; unlimited access to all football facilities, including the locker room; access to all recreational facilities; a parking pass; a university Internet account; listing in the faculty directory and numerous other privileges - he had remained a regular presence on campus.”
Indeed, eight days before Ganim first broke the news of the Sandusky Grand Jury investigation in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, and a year after Patriot-News reporter Ganim first asked Spanier about his knowledge of the investigation, Spanier, Curley and Sandusky all attended a small reception at Beaver Stadium on March 23, 2011, honoring the Penn State wrestling team.
The modest gathering stemmed from a seemingly impromptu invitation sent out by Curley on March 22, 2011, which read, in part:
Dear Wrestling Booster Club Members and your Guests,
Please join us for a celebration to honor the 2011 NCAA Wrestling National Championship Team led by Big Ten Coach of the Year, Cael Sanderson!!
We will gather in the Mount Nittany Club in Beaver Stadium on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 between 5:00 - 6:30 pm, with a brief program beginning at 6:00 pm. The dress is casual and no reply is necessary.
We hope you and your guests will join us to honor this tremendous team!
Tim and Melinda Curley
Curley and Spanier can be seen in several photos at the informal event, while Sandusky is shown in a photo at the same reception with Pat Daugherty, noted owner of a State College establishment called The Tavern.