Former Penn State football trainer and live-in adviser of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house, Tim Bream, will not face perjury charges for his testimony in the preliminary hearing last summer — but he isn't out of the woods.
Peter Sala, an attorney of former brother Joseph Sala, filed a private criminal complaint in May.
He requested District Attorney Bernie Cantorna’s office to pursue four different charges against Bream in relation to the death of Timothy Piazza — perjury, unsworn falsification to authorities, reckless endangerment and furnishing liquor to minors.
In response to the complaint, Deputy District Attorney Sean McGraw wrote to Sala on Friday that “those presumed falsehoods did not entail a reasonable likelihood of affecting the course or outcome of the Piazza preliminary hearing."
In the letter, McGraw had also written that his office does not have enough to support a case of reckless endangerment against the former advisor.
Despite this, McGraw said an investigation is “necessary to determine who was telling the truth” as far as Sala’s allegations that Bream furnished alcohol to minors and made unsworn falsification to authorities.
“Allegations that Bream facilitated the consumption of alcohol by minors may support a prosecution for furnishing alcohol to minors if supported by evidence sufficient to establish accomplice liability,” McGraw wrote. “Yet, such a charge would, as with the unsworn falsification allegation, depend on the credibility of the actors who supplied Detective Scicchitano with the information.”
The matter is now in the hands of the State College Police Department in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General, according to McGraw.
At this point, Bream’s denial of perjury and recklessly endangering another person may be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas within 30 days after the original filing.
The other charges are in a current state of suspension until further investigation has occurred.
Piazza died last year on Feb. 4 following injuries sustained falling down stairs at the fraternity pledge event, and Bream was first accused of perjury in March.
State College Detective and the lead investigator in the case, David Scicchitano, testified in the second preliminary hearing that he believed Bream lied during his testimony in the first preliminary hearing in August 2017.
This was after Sala’s partner, defense attorney Leonard Ambrose, said that Bream was allegedly “10 feet from the victim... while [Piazza] was dying on the floor.” Scicchitano then confirmed that he believed it was Bream on surveillance footage walking by Piazza, during his testimony.
Before full surveillance footage was recovered from the house, Bream testified in the first preliminary hearing that he was asleep in his room the night of Piazza’s fall, meaning he would be unaware what occurred that evening.
During the same line of questioning to Scicchitano, Ambrose revealed to the court text messages suggesting Bream intended to provide a bartender for celebrations in the house.
According to his testimony in August, Bream said he did not have any knowledge of alcohol would be at the event that resulted in Piazza’s injuries. However, throughout the hearings, attorneys said Bream had the responsibility to approve all events and was present at planning meetings.
Sala and Ambrose’s client allegedly helped to plan and facilitated the drinking games on Feb. 2, as his role of Former Assistant Pledge Master. He is being charged 14 counts of hazing, two counts of furnishing alcohol to minors and two counts of unlawful acts related to liquor heading into the August trial.
Bream is now the Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, after starting in March. He announced his resignation from Penn State Athletics on Feb. 9.
Bream was in the Beta Theta fraternity house the night of Feb. 2, 2017, when Penn State sophomore Timothy Piazza sustained fatal injuries relating to a hazing ritual.
With the most serious of charges for the 11 former Beta Theta Pi members being dismissed Wednesday morning, the case surrounding the hazing death of Timothy Piazza has only just begun.