Opening Statements Delivered in Spanier Trial
The prosecution in the Graham Spanier trial previewed former Penn State senior vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley’s testimony during opening statements delivered this morning. The focus of deputy attorney general Patrick Schulte’s opening remarks revolved around Spanier’s alleged knowledge of Jerry Sandusky showering with children in football locker rooms back in 1998 and his failure to take further action, as reported by the Legal Intelligencer.
Schulte emphatically described to the 16-person jury of Schultz and Curley’s intentional failure in acting on a report from then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary that Sandusky had engaged a boy sexually in a Lasch Building shower — a report that was told to Joe Paterno, who then advised McQueary to talk with Curley and Schultz.
According to Schulte, all three administrators — Curley, Schultz, and Spanier, — had prior knowledge of Sandusky’s similar investigation three years earlier. “[Schultz and Curley] are going to tell you, ‘we pretty much thought of ‘98 right away,’” Schulte said, according to the Legal Intelligencer.
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for men to do nothing,” Schulte said, according to the Post-Gazette. “Evil thrives when men do nothing…those three men failed to protect the most vulnerable among us — those kids.”
Schulte added that Schultz plans on expressing regret during his testimony, adding that Schultz will say “We messed up,” referencing the trio’s decision not to report what McQueary saw to the Department of Public Welfare, as told by the Post-Gazette.
Schulte’s claims were refuted by Sam Silver, Spanier’s attorney, who said that the former Penn State president did not have direct contact with McQueary, instead falling back on the information provided to him from Schultz and Curley. Silver maintains that nobody alerted Spanier of Sandusky engaging in sexual intercourse with a boy. “This was far from criminal conspiracy,” Silver said, according to the Post-Gazette.
Former Penn State police chief Tom Harmon and former Penn State police detective Ron Schreffler also provided testimony this afternoon prior to a break.