HARRISBURG, Pa. — Two Penn State officials plan to fight perjury charges and allegations they did not respond properly after being told a young boy had been sodomized in the football team's showers as a judge decides if their cases should go to trial.
Gary Schultz and Tim Curley arrived at a Pennsylvania courthouse for their preliminary hearing Friday morning. They were charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse in early November, on the same day former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of child sex abuse.
Schultz was a vice president at the university and had overseen the campus police. Curley was the university's long-serving athletic director. Since they were arrested six weeks ago, Schultz has retired and Curley has been on administrative leave. Both maintain their innocence.
The hearing in Dauphin County court in Harrisburg requires the attorney general's office to prove there is a minimum of evidence to support the charges, a relatively low bar and a proceeding that defendants have the right to waive. Sandusky, the school's retired assistant football coach, is charged with 52 criminal counts accusing him of molesting 10 boys. He says he is innocent.
The Penn State assistant coach at the heart of the perjury case arrived at the court shortly after Schultz and Curley on Friday. Mike McQueary declined to speak to reporters as he entered the courthouse.
McQueary told the grand jury he saw Sandusky attacking a boy in the shower.
Curley and Schultz gave different accounts, and are charged with not properly alerting law enforcement when McQueary contacted them.
To support the perjury charges, prosecutors must show probable cause the two men lied and that the lies were intentional and material to the case.
Sandusky on Tuesday waived his preliminary hearing at the last minute. His lawyer said he was concerned the proceeding would be too one-sided and that prosecutors had agreed not to seek a bail increase.
The attorneys for Curley and Schultz have not indicated they intend to waive, and even issued a statement earlier this week saying the defendants were looking forward to the preliminary hearing and "to start the process of clearing their good names and demonstrating that they testified truthfully to the grand jury."
McQueary's testimony is central to the case, and Sandusky's lawyer and others think he will have to testify Friday. His appearance would mark the first time he has testified in public about what he saw and heard inside the Lasch Football Building.
McQueary told the grand jury he saw Sandusky raping the boy one Friday night before spring break. He said he called his father, then left distraught. He and his father met with coach Joe Paterno the next day.
Paterno, in turn, told his boss, Curley.
Paterno, according to the grand jury report, told Curley that his graduate assistant had seen Sandusky "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature."
Schultz, who oversaw campus security, and Curley met with McQueary 10 days later. McQueary told them that he thought Sandusky had sodomized a young boy, according to his grand jury testimony, which the panel found "extremely credible."
Curley, though, denied that McQueary reported a rape or anything "of a sexual nature whatsoever," the report said. The athletic director described the conduct as "horsing around," the panel said.
Schultz was unsure of what he had been told, but denied the reported conduct included sodomy. He told the grand jury that he was left with "the impression that Sandusky might have inappropriately grabbed the young boy's genitals while wrestling."
The accounts continued to morph, according to the grand jury's outline, when the two university officials spoke to school President Graham Spanier. Spanier testified that he was told Sandusky and a boy "were horsing around in the shower."
Curley, 57, and Schultz, 62, face up to seven years in prison if convicted of perjury. The other charge is a summary offense, less serious than a misdemeanor.
The hearing raises the prospect that Paterno, the 84-year-old campus icon now being treated for lung cancer and a re-fractured pelvis, may be called to the stand. The attorney general's office declined to say who is on its witness list, and it's unclear whether prosecutors could have his grand jury testimony read into the record.
McQueary told the grand jury that he happened upon "rhythmic, slapping sounds" in the locker room showers and added that both Sandusky and the boy saw him there, according to a grand jury presentment. Authorities did not know the boy's identity when the report was issued.
McQueary has become a lightning rod in the case, taking heat for not going to the boy's aid or immediately calling police. In a recent email to friends, he went on the defensive, saying he made sure the abuse stopped and went to authorities.
Defense lawyers would no doubt challenge McQueary about his more recent statements. Local and campus police have said they received no such complaint.
Meanwhile, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg has reported that McQueary's story changed when speaking in 2002 to Dr. Jonathan Dranov, a family friend. The newspaper report cited a source said to be familiar with Dranov's testimony.
"If this information is true, and we believe it is, it would be powerful, exculpatory evidence and the charges against our clients should be dismissed," Caroline Roberto, a lawyer for Curley, and Tom Farrell, the attorney representing Schultz, said in their statement.
The Associated Press was unable to reach Dranov this week at his home and office.
Associated Press writer Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.