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Cast of Characters in the Penn State Sex-Abuse Scandal

by Joann Loviglio
Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

The main players in the Penn State child-sex abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, including three men facing charges and the key witness in a preliminary hearing underway in Harrisburg to determine whether there is substantial evidence for the case to proceed to trial.


Role: Penn State’s longtime president, he was forced out by university trustees after Sandusky’s arrest but remains a tenured faculty member currently on administrative leave.

Background: An investigation led by ex-FBI director Louis Freeh concluded that Spanier failed in his duties as president by not informing trustees about the allegations against Sandusky or the subsequent grand jury probe. Spanier told investigators he wasn’t notified of any criminal behavior by Sandusky during his 16 years as president.

Spanier initiated a lawsuit this month against Freeh. Legal paperwork filed in Centre County, where Penn State is located, disclosed little about the nature of his claims but checked off a box on a court system form that described the case as "slander/libel/defamation."

Charges: Perjury, child endangerment, conspiracy, obstruction, failure to report suspected child abuse. He denies the allegations.



Role: Since-fired assistant football coach. He was a graduate assistant in 2001, when he says he witnessed Sandusky pressing himself against a boy in a team shower. McQueary took his complaint to coach Joe Paterno, who alerted university administrators.

Background: He testified at Sandusky’s trial that he had "no doubt" Sandusky was molesting the boy. He has since filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the university, claiming he lost his $140,000-a-year job and was defamed by administrators.

Latest testimony: The star witness at the hearing for the three officials accused of a cover-up, McQueary testified that Paterno told him "Old Main screwed up" - referring to university administrators - in its response to the scandal and warned McQueary that the school would try to make him a scapegoat.



Role: Penn State’s athletic director, on leave to complete the last year of his contract.

Background: Curley fielded McQueary’s complaint about Sandusky in a team shower with a boy in early 2001, and told a grand jury he instructed Sandusky not to be inside university athletic facilities with any young people but said he did not think that anything criminal had occurred.

Charges: Child endangerment, conspiracy, obstruction. He denies the allegations.



Role: Penn State vice president for business and finance, now retired.

Background: Schultz told the grand jury that Paterno and McQueary reported the 2001 shower incident "in a very general way" but did not provide details. He said he believed Sandusky and the boy were "horsing around" but that no criminal activity occurred.

Charges: Child endangerment, conspiracy, obstruction. He denies the allegations.



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