By Daniel Kelley
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – The trio of former Penn State administrators accused of covering up Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in court papers filed on Monday.
The university’s former president, Graham Spanier, 65; former athletic director, Tim Curley, 59; and former senior vice president, Gary Schultz, 63, waived their right to appear at a formal arraignment in September on charges including endangering the welfare of children, obstruction of justice and criminal conspiracy.
The legal filings come after the three men were ordered last week to stand trial for their role in what prosecutors have called a “conspiracy of silence” aimed at covering up accusations that Sandusky was sexually abusing children, sometimes in the Penn State locker room showers.
Sandusky, 69, a former assistant football coach, was convicted in June 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse involving 10 boys. He is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years in a state prison.
At last week’s hearing, prosecutors introduced 1998 emails that show Spanier, Curley and Schultz in 1998 discussed a mother’s allegation that Sandusky had showered with her 11-year-old son, and that late legendary football coach Joe Paterno also was aware of the incident.
Those emails run counter to what Spanier told a 2011 grand jury – that he had no knowledge of the 1998 allegation, nor did he know whether Curley and Schultz knew of the incident.
At the hearing, a second incident was described in detail by former assistant football coach, Mike McQueary, who said he saw Sandusky abusing a child in the showers in 2001. McQueary said he told Paterno, Curley and Schultz, but no one reported it to the police.
Prosecutors say the continuing silence permitted Sandusky to keep preying on boys, most of whom he met through a charity he founded for at-risk youth.
Sandusky was arrested in November 2011 in the scandal that rocked the world of college sports.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Richard Chang)