Monday, June 11, 2012

Without Comment: Ex-Penn State Officials May Face More Charges

The trial of Jerry Sandusky has started.  See Colleen, Jerry Sandusky Trial: The Major Players, ABC News, June 11, 2012. (For Penn State's Statement at the start of trial CLICK HERE).

(Pix of Messrs Curley, Spanier and Schultz 
from Ex-Penn State officials may face more charges, Today--MSNBC, June 11, 2012)

But the attention of public officials and private litigants may now shift to members of the administrative apparatus of the university. This morning, MNS-NBC aired on its Today Show a segment on possible developments that might lead to more scrutiny of and possible charges against Penn State officials.  Reproduced below are the transcript of the Today Show segment and the University's response.

The transcript of the Today Show segment:

As Jerry Sandusky’s sex abuse trial begins, authorities are reviewing emails and documents as they reportedly consider bringing more charges against former Penn State officials for allegedly concealing what they knew about his conduct. NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports.

>> held at the child sex abuse trial of penn state football coach jerry sandusky . nbc 's national correspondent michael isikoff at the courthouse this morning. michael, good morning.
>> reporter: good morning, ann. jerry sandusky goes on trial today charged with repeatedly molesting young boys . law enforcement officials telling nbc news pennsylvania prosecutors are weighing bringing more charges in this case against former top penn state officials for allegedly concealing what they knew about his conduct. as sandusky goes to court, law enforcement sources tell nbc news investigators obtained new evidence in this case. internal e-mails and documents they say show former president graham spanier and others discussed whether they needed to tell authorities about a 2001 allegation involving a late night encounter between a naked sandusky and a young boy in the penn state shower room. the sources say documents show penn state even did legal research on the issue. but in one e-mail exchange two sources say spanier and former vice president gary schultz agreed it would be, quote, humane to sandusky not to inform social services and the incident never got reported.
>> depending on precisely what's in the e-mails and documents, this could spell more legal trouble for other university officials.
>> reporter: sandusky who denies all charges is facing 52 counts of child sex abuse . eight of his alleged victims are slated to testify. among them, a young man known as victim six who first told penn state in 1998 when he was 11 years old that sandusky had bear hugged him in the penn state shower room. dr. chambers, the boy's psychologist, submitted this report to penn state police at the time concluding sandusky 's behavior fit that of a likely pedophile's pattern.
>> i immediately thought this may well be a child molester .
>> reporter: but a second psychologist reached a different conclusion and no charges were filed. then graduate assistant mike mcqueary had originally testified to a grand jury he saw sandusky in the shower with a young boy in mar 2002 . a new e-mail says spanier , schultz and former director discussed what mcqueary saw and whether to report it more than a year earlier.
>> at a minimum it suggests they took mcqueary much more seriously than they led the grand jury to believe.
>> lawyers for spanier , who was fired last september, did not return calls seeking comment. said, "the information confirms conscientiously considered mike mcqueary 's reports of observing inappropriate conduct, reported it to the university president graham spanier and deliberated about how to responsibly deal with the conduct. legal sources say discovery of the e-mails show whatever happens in the sandusky trial, the investigation as to whether there's a cover-up by penn state officials is very active and going strong.
>> more to come on this. michael isikoff , thank you very
The story was amploified in another that was published by the Chronicle of Higher Education: Penn State’s President Chose Not to Act on Sandusky Allegations in 2001, Report Says, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2012:
Graham B. Spanier, then president of Penn State, and two other university officials traded e-mail messages in 2001 about allegations that Jerry Sandusky had molested a boy, but Mr. Spanier ultimately chose not to report the alleged incident to the authorities, NBC News reported on Monday.

In one e-mail exchange with Gary C. Schultz, then Penn State’s senior vice president for finance and business, Mr. Spanier said it would be “humane” to avoid alerting social services, according to the NBC report. Mr. Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, is now on trial on 52 counts of child sex abuse. Revelations about his alleged abuses led to the firing last fall of Mr. Spanier and Joe Paterno, the university’s longtime head football coach.

The University’s will respond to media inquiries as follows:
In the course of former FBI Director Louis Freeh's independent investigation, e-mails were discovered and immediately turned over to the State Attorney General. In deference to the legal process, the University cannot comment further on specifics of the ongoing legal case as it unfolds. We continue to work with the State Attorney General, the US Attorney and Judge Freeh in their investigations into this matter. We will continue to cooperate fully with all legal processes to determine what happened and ensure personal accountability.

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