Two Criminal Indictments, One Locked Away for the Rest of His Life, and One Dead!
"In 2001 there was zero excuse to not stop Sandusky. Zero. Penn State's decision was pathetic.
It's a chief reason why Curley and Schultz are facing prison time for failure to report a crime. It's also why Spanier remains a candidate for similar indictment from the attorney general.
Did Spanier realize the stakes of his decision? You bet he did. His email back to Curley concerning not going to child welfare says as much. "I am supportive," Spanier wrote, according to CNN. "The only downside for us [is] if the message isn't heard and acted upon, and then we become vulnerable for not having reported it."
Graham Spanier is a bad person. That wasn't the "only downside" or even the primary downside of Sandusky not hearing "the message." The fact that additional children would be abused was the downside. Spanier, ever the self-obsessed top administrator, cared only about his own liability, not some terrified 10-year-old in an empty shower room. At no point, apparently, did anyone write an email about finding the boy McQueary said was being molested.
What remains is the question of why otherwise "reasonable" people would make such an ethically bankrupt and criminal decision. These are highly educated, high-functioning men. The answer may never be determined."
E-Mails Suggest Paterno Role in Silence on Sandusky
Joe Paterno appears to have played a greater role than previously known in Penn State’s handling of a 2001 report that Jerry Sandusky had sexually assaulted a boy in a university shower, according to a person with knowledge of aspects of an independent investigation of the Sandusky scandal.
According to e-mails uncovered by investigators, Joe Paterno may have influenced Penn State's decision not to report Jerry Sandusky to authorities.
E-mail correspondence among senior Penn State officials suggests that Paterno influenced the university’s decision not to formally report the accusation against Sandusky to the child welfare authorities, the person said. The university’s failure to alert the police or child welfare authorities in 2001 has been an issue at the center of the explosive scandal — having led to criminal charges against two senior administrators and the firing of Paterno last fall.
The university’s much maligned handling of the 2001 assault began when Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant in Paterno’s football program, told Paterno that he had seen Sandusky assaulting a boy of about 10 in the football building showers. McQueary has testified several times that he made clear to Paterno, and later to university officials, that what he had seen Sandusky doing to the child was terrible and explicitly sexual in nature.
To date, the public understanding of Paterno’s subsequent actions has been that he relayed McQueary’s account to the university’s athletic director and then had no further involvement in the matter.
But the e-mails uncovered by investigators working for Louis J. Freeh, the former F.B.I. director leading an independent investigation ordered by the university’s board of trustees, suggest that the question of what to do about McQueary’s report was extensively debated by university officials. Those officials, the e-mails show, included the university’s president, Graham B. Spanier; the athletic director, Tim Curley; the official in charge of the campus police, Gary Schultz; and Paterno.
The existence of the e-mail correspondence was first reported by CNN. The person familiar with aspects of the Freeh investigation would not be identified because the investigation is continuing and no one is authorized to speak about it.
The Penn State e-mails, according to the person with knowledge of the Freeh investigation, indicate that Spanier, Curley and Schultz seemed at one point to favor reporting the assault to the state child welfare authorities, recognizing that if they did not, they could later be vulnerable to charges that they had failed to act.
But in one e-mail, Curley wrote that after talking to Paterno, he no longer wanted to go forward with that plan. In the end, the university told no one other than officials with Second Mile, the charity for disadvantaged youngsters founded by Sandusky.
The e-mails suggest that the officials decided that Sandusky could be dealt with by barring him from taking children onto the campus and encouraging him to seek professional help. Not reporting the accusation to the authorities, the men determined, was the more “humane” way to deal with Sandusky, according to the e-mails.
Curley and Schultz were indicted last fall on charges of failing to report the assault to the police and child welfare authorities, and then lying about their conduct under oath before a grand jury. Curley and Schultz, through their lawyers, have insisted that they were never told of the graphic nature of the assault in the showers, saying they were under the impression that it had amounted to little more than “horsing around.”
Lawyers for Curley and Schultz, contacted about the e-mails, issued a statement saying in part: “For Curley, Schultz, Spanier and Paterno, the responsible and ‘humane’ thing to do” in 2001 “was to carefully and responsibly assess the best way to handle vague but troubling allegations. Faced with tough situations, good people try to do their best to make the right decisions.”
Spanier, who resigned as Penn State’s president in November, declined to comment when reached by phone on Saturday.
If accurate, the recently uncovered e-mail correspondence could further damage Paterno’s reputation and legacy. When he was fired, the university’s board of trustees said that his failure to act more aggressively after learning of the attack amounted to a failure of leadership. But if Paterno played a role in the decision not to report the attack to the child welfare authorities, his failure of leadership would seem more grave.
When they testified before the grand jury, none of the four men — Spanier, Curley, Schultz and Paterno — detailed internal discussions about what to do with Sandusky. Certainly, none of the men spoke of any involvement by Paterno beyond his initial report to Curley.
Freeh’s investigation, begun last fall, is expected to be the most thorough examination of the university’s dealings with Sandusky, including the question of whether there was a cover-up involving the 2001 accusations.
To that end, Freeh’s investigation has identified previously undisclosed billing records showing that officials of the university, when deciding what to do in 2001, consulted with the law firm that served as its outside counsel on their legal obligation to report the assault, the person familiar with the inquiry said. It is unclear from the billing records whether the officials disclosed the nature of the accusations against Sandusky or simply made a general inquiry. Several hours were billed, beginning on a Sunday night, the person said. The lawyer who represented the university at the time did not return a phone call requesting comment.
Freeh’s investigators are also exploring the circumstances surrounding Paterno’s decision to eventually hire McQueary as an assistant, the person familiar with the investigation said. McQueary, a former quarterback for Paterno at Penn State, has testified under oath that when he first contacted Paterno to inform him of what he had seen in the showers, Paterno assumed he was calling to ask for a job, and that Paterno brusquely told him he would not be hired.
McQueary was ultimately hired over another, more experienced candidate, and investigators are curious about whether that development came as a consequence of what he told Paterno that morning in 2001.
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