Opening Statements In Trial Of Former PSU President Expected Tuesday

Opening statements are scheduled to get underway Tuesday in the long-delayed criminal trial, in which Graham Spanier faces charges of child endangerment and conspiracy for how he handled child sex abuse complaints about Jerry Sandusky more than 15 years ago.

The charges against Spanier are related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that rocked the university in 2011.

Prosecutors picking jurors Monday in Spanier's trial said former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley are on their witness list.

Curley and Schultz who worked closely with Spanier for years can now testify against him.

The trial, which according to Judge John Boccabella could last up to two weeks, will go over a time period of February 2001, when McQueary says he witnessed Sandusky in a Penn State locker room shower, to October 31, 2012.

When allegations that Sandusky was abusing young boys surfaced in 2001, Spanier and others didn't report it to authorities, opting instead to handle it as an internal matter. He has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. They include Mike McQueary, the graduate student who reported seeing Sandusky shower with a boy in 2001.

During the jury selection process potential jurors were asked if their feelings about Penn State - good or bad - would impact their ability to make an honest decision in the case. They faced the same charges as Spanier, but pled guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment charges early last week. He is still being charged with endangering the welfare of children and failure to report abuse. In his 2011 grand jury testimony, Paterno said he was told by McQueary the encounter involved "fondling" and was of "a sexual nature" but wasn't quite sure what the act was.

The email exchange discovered during the Louis Freeh Investigation will most likely be key evidence.

  • Larry Hoffman