While many of the exhibits in the grand jury presentment against the former Penn State administrators charged in relation to the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case were the same used in the Freeh Report, the defense is arguing the report has tainted the case.
According to pre-trial motions filed Thursday by the attorneys for former Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley, the publicity that has resulted from their case has “inflamed the public.”
“…the Freeh Report concluded unequivocally that Mr. Schultz and Mr. Curley were guilty not only of the crimes charged, but of a conspiracy to conceal the conduct of Mr. Sandusky,” attorney Caroline Roberto wrote in the pre-trial motion filed on behalf of Curley.
Curley and Schultz were charged in November 2011 with perjury and failure to report suspected abuse. Curley and Schultz were further charged Thursday with endangering the welfare of children, obstruction of justice and the conspiracy to commit the crimes they are being charged with.
Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 out of 48 counts of sexually abusing boys he met through the charity he created, The Second Mile. Sandusky was sentenced in October to serve 30 to 60 years in the State Correctional Institution at Greene in Waynesburg.
The Freeh Report, compiled by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, was released July 12 after an investigation into how top Penn State administrators responded to reports of Sandusky sexually abusing boys. The report heavily implicates both Curley and Schultz, as well as former university President Graham Spanier, who was also charged Thursday with perjury, child endangerment, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
The motion also states that because of the mass media coverage of the Sandusky case and the Freeh Report, the jury pool has been tainted and that people have already ruled Curley and Schultz guilty as a result of the implications of the Freeh Report. The motion also states that to make sure the defendants receive a fair trial, the courts should allow a trial continuance for a “cooling off” period.
“The poisoned atmosphere created by the onslaught of negative media publicity unfortunately has already predetermined defendants’ guilt,” according to the motion.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said at a press conference Thursday in which she announced the new charges that the Freeh Report was helpful in the Attorney General’s investigation but said it was “created in a different frame of reference.”
Certain exhibits in the grand jury presentment were also used during the investigation by Freeh, including emails exchanged between Curley, Schultz and Spanier about Sandusky and his criminal behavior.
Kelly said she wouldn’t comment on the football culture at Penn State but did say that most of what went on at the university regarding Sandusky was controlled by Curley, Schultz and Spanier.
"That, in itself, speaks volumes,” Kelly said.
Freeh Group spokesperson Thomas Davies said the Freeh Group declines to comment on the issue.