|Former Penn State President|
* Will the second trial prove the old adage that a coverup is worse than the original wrong?
* Will the area around Penn State come to grips with the fact that a corporate executive with a history as a child abuser has set up shop in the community, even as it continues to reel from the Sandusky fallout?
Ex Penn State president Graham Spanier and former administrators Gary Schultz and Tim Curley were ordered late Tuesday to stand trial on charges that they covered up their failure to tell police about an allegation that Sandusky molested a boy in a university locker room shower.
A district judge called it "a sad day for Penn State University," and a state prosecutor said the case is about "a conspiracy of silence." From a report at centredaily.com:
Perhaps the strongest pieces of evidence were email exchanges between Curley, Schultz and Spanier regarding the Sandusky shower incidents in May 1998 and February 2001. The prosecution offered testimony from whistle-blower Mike McQueary, a former university police chief and other employees.
Here is how Huffington Post summarized the criminal charges against the three former Penn State administrators:
The three were charged with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy. Those charges include allegations of hiding evidence from investigators and lying to the grand jury.
How stressful has the Sandusky saga been on residents of State College, Pennsylvania? Testimony at this week's preliminary hearing showed that Spanier tried desperately to quit after the Sandusky allegations became public--but the board of trustees fired him first.
On top of that, news reports indicate almost anyone associated with Penn State is subject to background checks, as part of the university's efforts to avoid such scandals in the future. One report stated that more than 21,000 individuals have undergone such checks, with some losing their jobs for relatively minor infractions that happened years ago.
It's ironic, then, that Penn State has welcomed Campus Crest Communities, a private developer of student housing at more than 40 sites around the country. The company is set to open The Grove at State College this month, and it has purchased Copper Beech Townhome Communities, which is based in State College and was founded by Penn State donors Jack and Jeannette McWhirter.
|Ted Rollins (right) and|
Jack McWhirter at Penn State
Public records show that Rollins was convicted for assault on his 16-year-old stepson in Franklin County, North Carolina. (See documents at the end of this post.) He also was investigated for child sexual abuse, based on a complaint from an anonymous citizen.
That presents disturbing parallels to the Jerry Sandusky story, as we pointed out in a recent post:
The bottom line? A state investigation in North Carolina led to no action against Ted Rollins. No steps were taken to protect his apparent victim.
Residents of State College, PA, and supporters of Penn State should be familiar with that kind of story. Jerry Sandusky first was investigated for inappropriate conduct with a child in 1998, but nothing came of it. More than 13 years passed, with an untold number of additional victims, before Sandusky finally was held accountable.
The search for peace at Penn State continues in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. It appears the community is not likely to find it anytime soon.