The Legal Limbo Over Penn State-Sandusky Cover Up May Soon End
By MARK SCOLFORO
Posted: 06/01/2014 3:14 pm EDT
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Jerry Sandusky has been convicted and sentenced and lost an appeal, but the related prosecution of three former Penn State administrators accused of covering up child sex-abuse complaints about the former assistant football coach remains in legal limbo — a status that could soon change.
The judge overseeing the criminal case against Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz said last week he was making plans that will return the case to the public's eye.
"We're going to try to get on track for later this summer," Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover said in a brief interview in his Harrisburg chambers. "When we're doing these things, everybody will have plenty of notice about what we're dealing with."
Hoover said he was not referring to the issue at the heart of a brief open-court hearing in December — a dispute over what occurred when the three men appeared with Penn State's then-general counsel Cynthia Baldwin to testify before the grand jury investigating Sandusky three years ago, as well as Baldwin's own subsequent grand jury testimony.
Spanier, the former university president; Curley, who had been athletic director; and Schultz, former vice president for business and finance, have argued they believed Baldwin was acting as their attorney and that her actions deprived them of their right to legal representation.
Despite voluminous court filings surrounding the dispute, it remains unclear exactly what aspects Hoover will decide, but how he rules will have profound implications for the direction of the case. Hoover could decide that the defendants' legal rights were so badly violated that charges should be thrown out.
"It does seem unusual to me that it's taken five months to rule on this issue that, in a fairly high-profile case, you'd think would go to the top of the docket," said Duquesne University School of Law professor Wes Oliver, who has followed the Sandusky scandal closely.
"If this were the Jerry Sandusky case and it were dragged on for this long, people would be up in arms," Oliver said.
Sandusky was arrested in November 2011 and went to trial the following June, a timetable so short that it drew complaints from his own defense team and formed an element of his unsuccessful appeal in state court. The former defensive assistant coach under Joe Paterno is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence for the sexual abuse of 10 boys but maintains his innocence.
To find out why prosecution is taking a long time, go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/01/penn-state-cover-up-legal-limbo_n_5428327.html.