Penn State’s ousted university president is quietly awaiting a decision on whether he will face criminal prosecution in the Jerry Sandusky scandal while two former subordinates fight charges they tried to cover up the former defensive coordinator’s sexual molestation of boys.
Lawyers for Tim Curley, once the school’s athletic director, and Gary Schultz, an ex-university vice president, on Thursday attacked the case against their clients as lacking in detail and substance during a 90-minute court hearing in which they asked a judge to prevent it from going to trial.
“We’re confident we’re going to win this case, before the judge, before the jury, if need be,” Schultz’s lawyer, Thomas J. Farrell, told reporters at a pretrial hearing at Dauphin County Court in Harrisburg.
Judge Todd Hoover did not immediately rule on a defense motion to dismiss perjury charges against Curley and Schultz.
Graham Spanier, the longtime university president felled by the Sandusky scandal, has not been charged with a crime. But that doesn’t mean he’s in the clear, according to lawyers unaffiliated with the case.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s university-commissioned report that accused the ex-president – along with Curley, Schultz and football coach Joe Paterno – of covering up a 2001 abuse allegation against Sandusky could help lay the groundwork for criminal charges, legal experts said.
The report “suggests potential liability for Spanier,” said Paul DerOhannesian, an Albany, N.Y., defense attorney and former sex-crimes prosecutor.
“If I was in the state AG’s office, I would seriously be looking at” a criminal case against Spanier, said another defense lawyer, Will Spade, a former Philadelphia prosecutor who worked on a grand jury investigation of priests about a decade ago.
A spokesman in the attorney general’s office declined to comment, citing an “ongoing and active investigation” into the Sandusky matter.
Asked whether he expects Spanier to face charges, Spanier’s attorney, Peter Vaira said, “I have no idea.”