Attorneys for two Penn State administrators charged in connection to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case await a judge’s ruling on whether charges will be dropped in response to pre-trial motions, which wrapped up today.
Prosecutors charged retired Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley back in November for failing to report allegations that Sandusky abused a child -- and then, lying about what they knew to a grand jury.
Defense attorneys said the perjury charge shouldn’t stand, because it rests on subjective testimony. Thomas Farrell, attorney for Schultz, said the prosecution’s charge that his client lied to a grand jury is based on characterizations, not fact. He said Mr. Schultz is testifying that what he was told was not that serious, and didn’t amount to criminal conduct.
“As a matter of law, you can’t prosecute someone for perjury on that kind of testimony because it’s not a factual assertion, it’s really something that has several plausible meanings,” he said.
Attorneys also took aim at the charge both men failed to report the allegation, an offense that comes with a statute of limitations they said has expired. Caroline Roberto, Curley’s attorney, said the commonwealth is arguing the 10-year statute of limitations for failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse does not apply because failure to report is a continuing offense.
“That every day you don’t report, it continues like a conspiracy charge. There’s absolutely no support in the law from our perspective regarding that exception,” she said.
The Commonwealth raised the issue of the continuing offense the day before the pretrial hearing. Defense attorneys said they’ll respond within the next 10 days. Dauphin County President Judge Todd Hoover did not say when he would rule on motions, including requests to dismiss charges.
Sandusky was convicted in June of abusing 10 boys. He remains behind bars awaiting sentencing.