By Dan Good (NY Post)
June 30, 2012
Penn State officials decided against reporting Jerry Sandusky on child sex accusations a decade ago after discussing the situation with iconic football coach Joe Paterno, according to a new report.
Paterno, now deceased, had argued that he wasn't aware of the depth of Sandusky's transgressions.
CNN's report, which aired Friday on Anderson Cooper 360, reveals emails shared in 2001 between school president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and administrator Gary Schultz, after grad assistant Mike McQueary told the officials he saw Sandusky – a longtime assistant coach at the school – sexually abusing a boy in an on-campus shower.
According to CNN, Schultz emailed Curley on Feb. 26, 2001 about a plan to talk with Sandusky, alert his charity, The Second Mile, and "contact the Department of Welfare."
The next night, CNN reports, Curley emailed Spanier and Schultz with a change of plans.
"After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe (Paterno) yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone, but the person involved (Sandusky)," Curley allegedly wrote.
Curley's plan? Talk to Sandusky about the accusations – as well as a previous incident in 1998, but to keep the punishment 'in-house.'
CNN reports that Spanier responded two hours later in support of Curley's plans, writing, "The only downside for us is if the message isn't 'heard' and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it. But that can be assessed down the road."
Penn State never reported the allegations against Sandusky to law enforcement, and Sandusky wasn't investigated for child sex abuse until 2009. Earlier this month, he was found guilty on 45 different counts against him. He faces a maximum sentence of 442 years in prison.
Tom Kline, a lawyer for one of Sandusky's victims, said he was shocked by the emails.
"It is unquestionable that had these men not engaged in a concerted, conscious, collaborative effort not the report this to authorities, that the young man who I represent would not have been assaulted in the showers some six months later," Kline told CNN.
Curley and Schultz are charged with perjury, accused of lying to a grand jury investigating Sandusky. They have both maintained their innocence, and their lawyers released a statement to CNN, saying "Faced with tough situations, good people try to do their best to make the right decisions."
Spanier resigned as Penn State's president in November. He has not faced any charges connected to the Sandusky investigation.
Paterno was fired in November and died of lung cancer in January, the winningest football coach in NCAA Division I history – but a coach whose legacy has been marred by the Sandusky scandal.