A new CNN report showing alleged secret emails between Penn State officials suggests major new revelations regarding how they responded to allegations of Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse.
During Friday night’s episode of Anderson 360, CNN’s Susan Candiotti claimed the network received four email exchanges between Penn State President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley.
The alleged emails discuss the 2001 shower incident in which former assistant coach Mike McQueary claimed to have seen Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in a campus locker room.
CNN states the first email was made on February 26, 2001, 16 days after McQueary reported to Joe Paterno about the locker room incident.
CNN reports that in the email, Schultz messaged Curley about a plan to speak with Sandusky and contact his 2nd Mile Organization as well as the Department of Welfare, an agency which investigates suspected abuse.
CNN states Curley allegedly sent an email to Penn State President Spanier the next night claiming he wanted to talk things over with Sandusky and work with him before contacting child welfare. The CNN report also states Curley wrote the following exchange, indicating he spoke with Coach Joe Paterno about the incident:
After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday, I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone, but the person involved. I would be more comfortable meeting with the person…tell him about the information we received…tell him we are aware of the first situation.
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CNN reports “the first situation” was another shower incident between Sandusky and a boy back in 1998, which Sandusky was not charged for at the time.
CNN states Curley wrote in the email that he planned to tell Sandusky there was “a problem” and offer “professional help.” Curley also allegedly wrote he planned to “work with” Sandusky if he was cooperative and inform the Second Mile and child welfare if he was not.
CNN then states President Spanier responded two hours later, writing the following:
I am supportive. The only downside for us is if the message isn’t “heard” and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it. But that can be assessed down the road.
CNN then says Schultz sent an alleged email to President Spanier and Curley the next day, stating they would inform Second Mile with or without Sandusky’s cooperation. He also allegedly stated however they would “play it by ear to decide about the other organization.”
Prosecutors say Penn State never reported the incident to any outside agencies however. Sandusky went on to sexually abuse at least four other boys after the 2001 shower incident.
CNN has not revealed how they obtained the alleged emails.
Both Curley and Schultz were indicted by the grand jury for perjury and failing to report possible abuse. They were both suspended from their positions following the indictment. Spanier resigned from his position as president but currently does not face any criminal charges. Sandusky was convicted just last week of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
CNN reports President Spanier’s lawyers did not return their calls for comment on the alleged emails. Lawyers for Curley and Schultz sent the following statement to CNN however:
As Governor Tom Corbett stated, if we were going to do this case, we had to have the best possible case to go against somebody like Mr. Sandusky who was…loved by everybody…carried out of the football stadium on the shoulders of his football team…For Curley, Schultz, Spanier and Paterno, the responsible and ‘humane’ thing to do was, like Governor Corbett, to carefully and responsibly assess the best way to handle vague, but troubling allegations. Faced with tough situations, good people try to do their best to make the right decisions.
A spokesman for Joe Paterno’s family also responded to the report, according to CNN, claiming that neither he nor the family have seen any emails. He also stated Paterno never communicated by email and told CNN “everyone wants the truth and Joe always told the truth.”
Penn State Trustee-elect Anthony P. Lubrano released a response to the CNN report on Saturday.