A district judge ruled on Tuesday there was sufficient evidence to order three former Penn State administrators to stand trial in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Graham Spanier, the university's former president, along with Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, the university's former senior vice president and director of athletics respectively, are accused of covering up information surrounding alleged child abuse incidents involving Sandusky from 1998 and 2001. The three men were also charged with obstructing the investigation, perjury, endangering the welfare of children and three counts of conspiracy each.
Curley and Schultz were initially charged with Sandusky in November 2011. Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly filed criminal charges against Spanier the following year, as well as additional charges against Curley and Schultz.
"This is not a mistake, an oversight or a misjudgment," Kelly said in a statement. "This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials at Penn State, working to actively conceal the truth, with total disregard to the suffering of children."
Last year, Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys and is serving 30 to 60 years in prison.
One incident the men are accused of concealing information about involves an incident from May 3, 1998, when Sandusky allegedly molested an 11-year-old boy in a university locker room.
Schultz was notified of the incident and discussed it in detail with the university's then-Chief of Police Tom Harmon, according to evidence prosecutors presented to a grand jury. Schultz then passed along the information to Curley and Spanier and discussed the incident with them over both phone and email conversations. The evidence cites emails that Curley sent to Schultz on at least three occasions asking for updates on the investigation, which contradicts a statement Curley made in court in April 2011, saying he had no knowledge of the investigation.
More than a month after the incident occurred, Schultz sent an email to Curley, Spanier and Harmon saying that he would not pursue charges and to close the investigation.
"I think the matter has been appropriately investigated and I hope it is now behind us," the email said.
Prosecutors said in the report that the men covered up another incident in 2001 when a former team assistant said he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy, again in the Penn State locker room. Notes from a meeting between Schultz and Curley said if Sandusky confessed to having a problem, they would not notify authorities.
Lawyers for Spanier and Curley told District Judge William Wenner that the case "amounts to innuendo and far-fetched inference," and that some testimony included "embellishment," The Associated Press reported.
"I hope the attention this case received will change people's perceptions concerning child sexual abuse," said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, in a statement when the additional evidence was presented in November 2012. "If you are aware of a complaint by a child or if you know that a child is being abused, it is imperative that you report it immediately to law enforcement."