What's happening at Friday's Penn State hearing?

NEED TO KNOW
  • Jerry Sandusky, fmr. Penn State football coach, is accused of raping and molesting children
  • On Friday the men accused of covering up the PSU scandal will be in court for preliminary hearing
What's happening at Friday's Penn State hearing?

Another preliminary hearing is set for Friday in Pennsylvania stemming from child sex abuse charges against Jerry Sandusky. The former Penn State assistant football coach waived his hearing earlier this week -- an unexpected move that left all the questions in the case still unanswered. Former school officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz face charges based on evidence that they lied to a grand jury and didn't stop the abuse, according to the grand jury presentment.

Can this hearing shed any light on what the truth might be about what really happened at Penn State? Here are some of the answers we DO know.

1. Who are Tim Curley and Gary Schultz and what are they charged with?

Tim Curley was Penn State's Athletic Director before being placed on leave, and Gary Schultz retired from his job as Senior Vice President for Finance and Business. Both are charged with perjury before a grand jury and failing to report child abuse. Those charges are related to a 2002 incident that sparked the investigation into Sandusky.

2. What was their role in the case?

The grand jury presentment says that on March 1, 2002, then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed a naked Sandusky and a little boy he estimated to be about 10-years-old, alone together in the Penn State football locker room showers. McQueary told the grand jury he saw a naked little boy being raped with his hands up against the shower wall.

McQueary met with his father to talk about what he saw. The two decided Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno had to be told about what he witnessed. McQueary told the grand jury, the next day he went to Paterno’s home.  As quoted in the grand jury document, McQueary told Paterno he saw Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a very sexual nature to a young boy.

According to the grand jury document, McQueary was told the matter would be looked into. Several weeks later, Curley told McQueary two things had been done: 1. Sandusky’s keys to the locker room had been taken away and 2. the incident had been reported to The Second Mile.

3.  What was Tim Curley’s testimony before the grand jury?

Although the presentment states that McQueary testified before the grand jury in December 2010, it does not state precisely when Curley testified. The document does state that Curley said, “The graduate assistant reported to them that 'inappropriate conduct' or activity that made him 'uncomfortable' occurred in the Lasch building’s showers in March 2002."

Curley denied that McQueary told him he saw Sandusky raping a young boy. In fact, according to the document, when asked that question before the grand jury, Curley’s response was “absolutely not.” Curley stated under oath the term used by McQueary was “horsing around.”

Curley testified that he told Dr. Jack Raykovitz, executive director of The Second Mile charity, what McQueary had told him. Curley also testified that he met with Sandusky and told him that from that point forward, he would be unable to bring young people onto the Penn State campus.

Curley did not file a report with University Police.

4. What was Gary Schultz's testimony before the grand jury?

As Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, Gary Schultz also oversaw the university police. He testified that he was called to a meeting with Joe Paterno and Curley where Paterno described conduct by Sandusky as “disturbing” and “inappropriate.”

Schultz admitted he never reported the incident to police or tried to find out the identity of the child, but did attend a meeting with Curley and McQueary where McQueary revealed what he witnessed in the shower.

Schultz testified he never asked McQueary for specifics, but that he had the “impression” that Sandusky grabbed the boy’s genitals “while wrestling and agreed that such was inappropriate sexual conduct between a man and a boy.” Schultz also testified that what he was told was “not that serious” and “had no indication that a crime had occurred.”

Sandusky had been told to not bring children on campus and he believed Curley had notified child protection services, Shultz said in his testimony.

The grand jury presentment says the grand jurors did not believe the testimony of Curley or Schultz.

5. What is the purpose of Friday’s hearing?

Preliminary hearings are meant to protect defendants from being detained if there’s no evidence that a crime was committed. The prosecution must show evidence of a “prima facie” case. That means that upon initial examination of the matter at hand, it appears to be self-evident that Curley and Schultz could have committed the crimes. If the judge finds the state to have established a prima facie case, the case will go to trial.

A preliminary hearing is typically a great discovery tool for the defense, giving attorneys a sense of the evidence prosecutors have against their client.

6. Could they waive their right to a preliminary hearing like Sandusky?

In Session Field Producer Lena Jackobsson, who is on the ground in Pennsylvania covering the Penn State scandal, says that there has been no indication the two men will waive their to right to a preliminary hearing. However, as we saw with Sandusky, anything can happen.
 


7.  Could McQueary testify tomorrow?



Jackobsson says it is very likely that McQueary will testify Friday, because he is the lynch pen in the charges against the two men. McQueary has recently come under fire for what seem to be contradictory stories about what he witnessed in the shower in 2002. 

Three versions of McQueary’s story may be emerging:  

The first story is the one McQueary told the grand jury under oath outlined in the grand jury presentment.  

The second story is the one McQueary allegedly wrote in an email.  

Then there may be a third story coming from Dr. Jonathan Dranov, a family friend and colleague of McQueary’s father, who sat with McQueary and his father when the story was first told. It is important to remember that the grand jury heard multiple accounts of McQueary's story and chose to believe him. Any discrepancies in McQueary's account would ultimately be up to a jury to consider.

8. Will there be cameras in the courtroom tomorrow?



No, cameras are not allowed in the courtroom. However, In Session and HLN reporters and producers who will be in the courtroom are allowed to send electronic updates. 

HLNTV.com will be live blogging their updates as soon as we get them. So be sure to log on for the latest.

You can also get live updates from following us on Twitter @InSession and @HLNTV 

9. Who are the lawyers?

Curley’s attorney is Caroline Roberto a Pittsburgh-based criminal defense attorney who has her own firm. Schultz’s attorney is Thomas Farrell a Pittsburgh-based criminal defense attorney who is a partner in the firm Farrell & Resininger. Legal teams for the men have joined forces, even creating a website to outline their case.

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