LINGLESTOWN, Dauphin County — The two Penn State administrators charged in the Jerry Sandusky case were arraigned Monday on charges of perjury and failure to report child abuse — a case their attorneys called “weak” and a “prosecutor’s charge of last resort.”
Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, senior vice president of business and finance, were each released on $75,000 unsecured bail, meaning they don’t have to pay bail unless they fail to appear at any court-mandated hearing. They also were required to surrender their passports.
The charges are related to an incident in 2002, when a former graduate assistant, identified as assistant football coach Mike McQueary, reported seeing Sandusky sexually assault a boy, about 10 years old, in a shower at the Lasch Football Building.
The grand jury concluded Schultz and Curley lied when testifying about what they were told of the incident. They also did not contact police.
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“The charges, at face value, are disturbing to me,” said District Judge William Wenner before he set bail.
Caroline Roberto, Curley’s attorney, noted he has lived in Boalsburg for 15 years and has two children at Penn State. He’s not a flight risk because of those ties, and his standing in the community, she said.
“He had the most impeccable of reputations until these charges were filed,” she told the judge.
Thomas J. Farrell, Schultz’s attorney, similarly noted his client’s 20 years in Boalsburg, the fact that one of his children and several grandchildren live in the State College area, and his top secret security clearance from the federal government due to his oversight role with Penn State’s Applied Research Lab.
Curley and Schultz did not answer questions when they entered or left the courtroom. Their attorneys spoke to the media after the arraignments, saying their clients are innocent and the charges are baseless.
“Perjury is the prosecutor’s charge of last resort. They charge it when they can’t prove that the person did anything wrong,” Roberto said. “In this case, the facts occurred in 2002 and they’re trying to charge Mr. Curley with perjury for something he said nine years later. It is a distraction in this case, the charge of perjury, and it is unconscionable that the Attorney General’s Office would level such a weak case against a man of integrity like Mr. Curley.”
Roberto likened the summary failure to report offense to a speeding ticket, and argued that the duty to report didn’t even apply to Curley in this case.
“The evidence will show that he reported what he knew up the chain of command, just like others in this case did,” she said.
She called the perjury charge a red flag “that the charges against Mr. Curley are weak.”
“After 18 months of investigation, if this is all the Attorney General's Office could bring, we are ready to go toe to toe with them in court,” she said. “We’re ready to fight this case and we are ready to win.”
Schultz’s lawyer accused the attorney general of setting a “perjury trap.”
“You bring someone into a grand jury to investigate something that can’t be prosecuted, something that isn’t a crime, and then you take that person’s inconsistencies or inaccuracies, or failure to remember what happened nine years ago, and you manufacture a charge out of it,” Farrell said.
“That’s what the attorney general has done to these men.”
Farrell also said the failure to report charge has no basis.
“They did what they were supposed to do under the statute — they reported these allegations to their boss, the president of Penn State, as well as the executive director of The Second Mile,” Farrell said. “They did exactly what Mr. McQueary did, which was report to Joe Paterno, his boss. They did exactly what Mr. Paterno did, which is report it to Mr. Curley. There’s no reason they should be charged with this offense.”
But Attorney General Linda Kelly said Curley and Schultz should’ve reported the 2002 incident, and she believes the charges against them will stand up in court.
“I think that we are confident that that statute will cover the kind of activity that occurred late that night,” she said.
Cliff White can be reached at 235-3928.