HARRISBURG — The two Penn State administrators awaiting trial for failing to properly report suspected child abuse by Jerry Sandusky argue in a new court filing that the charge should be dismissed because the statute of limitations has expired.
Gary Schultz and Tim Curley filed a response this week to an effort by state prosecutors to keep the charge in place for trial, now scheduled to begin in a Harrisburg courtroom early next year.
The attorney general's office last month said the two men had a continuing duty to go to authorities after fielding a 2001 complaint by graduate assistant Mike McQueary about Sandusky in a shower with a young boy.
"To date, (the) defendants still have not notified the proper authorities that they had information that Sandusky was abusing children," prosecutor Bruce Beemer wrote on Aug. 15.
But lawyers for Schultz, a retired university vice president, and Curley, on paid leave as athletic director, said in the new filing that the state's interpretation would subject doctors, teachers and others to a lifelong obligation to report, and called the prosecutors' argument a "strained and last resort interpretation."
Under a 10-year statute of limitations, they said, the clock would have run out in early 2011, nearly a year before Curley, Schultz and Sandusky were charged.
"This blatant attempt to place our clients near the center of the Sandusky maelstrom may have garnered the hoped for publicity," but the untimely filing of the failure-to-report charge "has real consequence," wrote attorneys Caroline Roberto and Tom Farrell.
Schultz and Curley also face a count of perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury in 2011. Sandusky awaits sentencing on 45 child sexual abuse counts and is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.