Prosecutors seek more information in Penn State scandal, school says

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 16, 2012 7:09 PM
Prosecutors seek more information in Penn State scandal, school says

By Dave Warner

HERSHEY, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - The Pennsylvania Attorney General is seeking more information into the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State and has issued added subpoenas to staff members, the university said on Friday.

The announcement came at a meeting of the Penn State Board of Trustees, which is faced with a revolt by alumni unhappy over its handling of the scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Sandusky was indicted last fall by a grand jury on 52 counts of child sex abuse stemming from accusations that he molested 10 boys over a 15-year period.

The scandal rocked the university and the world of college football and led to the firing last fall of legendary coach Joe Paterno, who died of lung cancer in January, and university president Graham Spanier.

A university spokeswoman said "a number" of additional subpoenas have been issued to employees but said she did not know an exact number.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office could not comment due to the ongoing investigation.

Penn State board chairwoman Karen Peetz said following the meeting: "Knowing there was an attorney general investigation going on, we expected to have various people subpoenaed."

Penn State President Rodney Erickson told reporters he too did not know precisely how many people received subpoenas, but that he had heard it may be a half-dozen or so.

Federal authorities also are involved in the investigation and have issued a subpoena for records involving Sandusky and Spanier as well as former athletic director Tim Curley and former finance official Gary Schultz, the university said last month.

Schultz was charged with perjury over his testimony to the grand jury about why he failed to act after he heard an accusation of abuse by Sandusky. He and Curley also were charged with failing to report the alleged crime to police.

Sandusky's trial is scheduled to begin in mid-May. He has maintained his innocence.

Defense attorney Joseph Amendola filed a new request on Friday for more details of the accusations against Sandusky, saying the information is critical to building an alibi defense.

Several accusers in court documents do not provide exact dates but say the alleged abuse occurred over several years. One alleged the abuse began when he was 8 and lasted six years.

Judge John Cleland of Centre County Court denied a request for more details earlier this week, siding with prosecutors who say they extracted as much information as possible from the accusers.

At Friday's board meeting, angry alumni seeking the ouster of the 32-member board wore t-shirts that spelled out R-E-S-I-G-N when they stood in line.

The dissidents say they are upset over the abrupt firing of Paterno and, more broadly, how the university is run.

(Additional reporting by Mark Shade, Editing By Ellen Wulfhorst and Paul Thomasch)