by Geoff Rushton
Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former senior vice president Gary Schultz have both asked a judge to modify their sentences to avoid time in jail.
Both men pleaded guilty in March to one misdemeanor count each of endangering the welfare of a child for their handling of Mike McQueary’s 2001 report about Jerry Sandusky with a boy in locker room shower.
On June 2, specially-presiding Judge John Boccabella sentenced Curley, 63, to seven to 23 months incarceration, with the first three months served in county jail followed by at least four months house arrest with electronic monitoring and two years probation. Schultz, 67, was sentenced to six to 23 months incarceration with the first two months to be served in county jail followed by at least four months of house arrest and two years probation.
Attorneys for Curley and Schultz both filed motions in the last week for the period of incarceration to be entirely served under house arrest.
Curley, his attorney Caroline Roberto wrote, has incurable lung cancer and as part of his plea agreement prosecutors said they would not object to a sentence of house arrest should confinement be ordered, provided he supplied medical documentation.
“Any term of incarceration would negatively impact his health, his ongoing treatment and continuity of healthcare, and cause extreme hardship to himself and his family as Mr. Curley’s liver damage makes him susceptible to infection and illness,” Roberto wrote.
Curley also requested permission for work release from jail and home confinement. After his sentence was handed down, Curley was offered a position as a development and fundraising assistant for the Centre County nonprofit Team Ream Foundation, according to the motion. The organization assists cancer patients and their families and was founded in memory of State College native and Penn State football walk-on Brandon Ream, who died from bone cancer at age 27.
“As noted at sentencing, Mr. Curley hasn’t worked in over 5 years due to the pendency of this case,” Roberto wrote. “At age 63 it is imperative the Mr. Curley be able to work and begin providing for his family again.”
Schultz’s attorney, Emily McNally, noted that at his sentencing he “presented letters and testimony establishing that he is tasked with the day-to-day care of his elderly mother-in-law and his wife, Karen, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.”
“The period of incarceration that Mr. Schultz has been ordered to serve will be a significant hardship on Mrs. Schultz and her mother,” McNally wrote. “Arrangements will need to be made for in-home care during the time that Mr. Schultz will be in jail.”
Schultz also requested permission for work release should he be incarcerated in jail. He has been employed as a part-time financial consultant for Scott’s Landscaping in Centre Hall. Schultz has been coaching the company’s new controller and has been involved with spinning off divisions of the business into separate entities, according to themotion.
Both men also were fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
Curley and Schultz were charged along with former Penn State President Graham Spanier for failing to take McQueary’s report to child welfare or law enforcement authorities. All three maintained McQueary did not report having witnessed sexual activity. They elected to tell Sandusky not to bring children to the locker room and inform the director of the Second Mile of the incident, but not inform child welfare authorities or law enforcement.
Sandusky, a former Penn State football defensive coordinator and founder of the now-defunct Second Mile charity for at-risk youth, was convicted in 2012 on 45 counts related to child sexual abuse.
Ahead of their scheduled trial in March, Curley and Schultz pleaded to the child endangerment charge. Felony child endangerment and conspiracy charges were dropped. They testified for the prosecution at Spanier’s trial, where the former president also was convicted on a misdemeanor child endangerment charge and acquitted of the felony charges.
Spanier, 69, was sentenced to two months in county jail, followed by two to 10 months of house arrest with electronic monitoring. He also received a fine of $7,500 and 200 hours of community service.
He filed a motion on Monday seeking to have the conviction thrown out with an acquittal or new trial. Spanier argued that the charge was barred by the statute of limitations and that prosecutors provided no evidence that he had a legally-defined duty of care for children abused by Sandusky. He also contends that Boccabella erred in reinstating a conspiracy charge that was dismissed by Pennsylvania Superior Court and that Boccabella gave incomplete instructions to the jury.
All three men are currently scheduled to report for incarceration by July 15.