Harrisburg – The Penn State saga continues to build as two major cases associated with the Jerry Sandusky conviction move forward. Yesterday, the NCAA asked a Centre County judge to toss out the Paterno family’s lawsuit. This request comes just days before a preliminary hearing for three Penn State administrators will kick off in a Dauphin County courtroom. That hearing will determine if this case has enough merit to go to trial.
Two major milestones for two separate cases involving fallout from the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case.
“I would be stunned if any of the three testify. It is just not worth the risk,” said Harrisburg attorney Jason Reimer.
Monday, a preliminary hearing is scheduled for the three Penn State administrators charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in the cover up of the Sandusky molestations. Former President Graham Spanier, Vice-President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley will face a judge to see if their case should move to trial.
“All the prosecutors are trying to do in a preliminary hearing is present enough information to show that there is enough probable cause for this to continue,” Reimer said.
Reimer says perjury and obstruction of justice are two difficult cases to prove. Much of that burden may lie on the testimony of Penn State Counsel Cynthia Baldwin. All three men believed she was at the grand jury testimony representing their interests. Instead, she says she was representing the school and did not know what the three men were going to say. Baldwin is now considered one of the attorney general’s star witnesses against the trio.
“I doubt that would be something resolved at the preliminary hearing, that is something that will be resolved before trial,” said Reimer
Besides the upcoming preliminary hearing, yesterday, the NCAA filed its preliminary objections to the Paterno family’s lawsuit. The NCAA wants the suit tossed out. The former coach’s family is suing the sport’s governing body, saying that the sanctions against the school are too harsh and it defames former players and Paterno’s legacy. Reimer believes this case isn’t going away anytime soon.
“We are still looking at, even if the NCAA loses their preliminary objections, we are looking at several years before we know the outcome of this case,” he said.
The preliminary hearing is set to begin Monday morning. Plans are in place for the hearing to last up to three days. Reimer believes ultimately the judge will push the case to trial although he doesn’t expect that to start until at least next year.