Philadelphia — Retired Penn State senior vice president Gary Schultz wrote a question on a note back in 1998: Could the report by a mom that Jerry Sandusky showered with her son be the “opening of a Pandora’s Box?”
Fourteen years later, the answer is: yes.
The hand-written note was among the files uncovered by the Freeh Group investigation from Schultz’s office and turned over to the Attorney General’s Office.
Schultz and then-athletic director Tim Curley are facing charges they lied to a grand jury that was investigating sex abuse allegations against Sandusky.
One local attorney said he would advise Curley and Schultz to seek plea deals based on information in the Freeh report.
Attorneys for the men, however, released statements saying the full story didn’t come out in the report, and that their clients look forward to their day in court.
Curley told the grand jury he was unaware of the 1998 incident that was investigated by Penn State police, but the records released Thursday by the Freeh investigation would indicate he did have knowledge of that first report that would seem poised to open the Pandora’s Box Schultz wondered about.
Curley and Schultz have maintained their innocence. When details of the emails surfaced in recent weeks in news media reports, a spokeswoman for the two Pittsburgh attorneys representing the men said she couldn’t comment on the suggestion the emails made that both had knowledge of the 1998 incident.
The emails, released in full Thursday, show the discussions Curley and Schultz, as well as former university president Graham Spanier, had about the 1998 incident and the now infamous 2001 incident reported by then-grad assistant Mike McQueary.
“This now appears to be the type of case that should head toward a plea,” State College attorney Matt McClenahen said.
McClenahen said the potential sentence on a plea deal could result in probation or less than a year in county jail, in part because the former top administrators have no prior criminal history. “Otherwise these men have led exemplary lives,” McClenahen said,
“Certainly if they can plea for probation they’ve got to take that and run,” he said. “I just don’t see how they are going to take this trial and win.”
Tom Farrell, the attorney for Schultz, said in a statement that “since the attorney general’s office prevented Louis Freeh and his team access to critical witnesses with full knowledge of all of the facts, the Freeh Report is not fair, full, accurate or complete.”
Caroline Roberto, the attorney for Curley, agreed, saying the Freeh group did not interview critical witnesses, including Mike McQueary.
“The result is a lopsided document that leaves the majority of the story untold,” she said.
Added Farrell: “When the complete factual story is told before an impartial jury, it will be clear that Mike McQueary never told Mr. Schultz that he witnessed Mr. Sandusky engaging in anal intercourse with a young boy, that Mr. Schultz did not possess or maintain any secret files about Mr. Sandusky, and that there were no efforts between and among Messrs. Schultz, Curley, Paterno and Spanier to conceal Mr. Sandusky’s behavior.”
Roberto said her client looks forward to his day in court, “and the opportunity to present a comprehensive slate of facts to an impartial jury, within the fair confines of a judicial proceeding where he is presumed innocent.”
Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631.