HARRISBURG, Pa. - A judge on Wednesday upheld perjury charges against two Penn State administrators accused of lying to a grand jury that investigated allegations ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused children.
Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover ruled against the motions by former vice-president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley that would have thrown out the count of perjury against each man.
The judge did not rule on the other count they each face, failure to properly report suspected child abuse. In that case, the defendants have argued the statute of limitations has expired. The judge said that dismissal request would be ruled on separately.
The judge said the claim made by Schultz and Curley that there is insufficient evidence to corroborate the perjury charges will be more appropriately pursued during the trial. He also said prosecutors have given the defendants sufficient information about which parts of their grand jury testimony make up the perjury allegation.
Schultz, the university's former vice-president for business and finance, has retired. Curley, the athletic director, is on leave. Their trial is scheduled to begin in Harrisburg with jury selection on Jan. 7. Defence lawyers are seeking to split the criminal cases against them.
A spokesman for the attorney general's office declined to comment on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the defendants' lawyers did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive co-ordinator, was convicted in June on charges he sexually abused 10 boys, some on campus. He's jailed awaiting sentencing next month.
Eight young men testified against Sandusky, describing a range of abuse they said went from grooming and manipulation to fondling, oral sex and anal rape when they were boys and included acts that occurred inside Penn State team showers. One young man testified his muffled screams from the basement of the Sandusky home in State College, where Penn State is based, went unanswered as Sandusky attacked him.
The 68-year-old Sandusky maintains his innocence, acknowledging he showered with boys but insisting he never molested them. Given his age and the serious nature of the crimes of which he was convicted, he's likely to receive a sentence that will keep him in prison for life.
The abuse scandal touched off by Sandusky's Nov. 5 arrest rocked Penn State, bringing down famed coach Joe Paterno and the university's president and leading the NCAA, college sports' governing body, to levy unprecedented sanctions against the university's football program.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, hired by university trustees to conduct an investigation into the university's handling of abuse complaints against Sandusky, concluded that Paterno, ousted president Graham Spanier, Curley and Schultz concealed a 2001 allegation against Sandusky to protect Penn State from bad publicity.
The late coach's family, as well as Spanier, Curley and Schultz, have hotly disputed Freeh's assertions.
Some alumni groups have attacked the Freeh report and said Penn State and the NCAA should not have accepted its conclusions.