HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than four years after he was first charged, the trial against former Penn State President Graham Spanier began in Dauphin County court Monday, in what could be the last criminal trial in the long-standing, Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Spanier, 68, is facing child endangerment and conspiracy charges. Jury selection began Monday with 137 potential jurors.
At question is how Spanier handled information he was allegedly given by former Penn State administrative colleagues Tim Curley and Gary Schultz in February 2001. It was at that time when former Nittany Lions then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary reported to have seen former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a locker room shower.
Last week, Curley and Schultz pleaded guilty to child endangerment misdemeanors.
Originally listed as co-conspirators with Spanier, Curley and Schultz are now expected to testify against their former colleague, according to a witness list announced during the jury selection process.
It is not known when the pair will testify, if they definitely will.
Other names on the potential witness list include:
- Ron Schreffler, a former Penn State Police detective
- Thomas Harmon, a former Penn State Police Chief
- Mike McQueary
- John McQueary, Mike's father
- Jon Dranov, a McQueary family friend and physician
- Wendell Courtney, former Penn State attorney
- Steve Shelow, former Penn State VP for campus police
- Kim Belcher, former secretary for Gary Schultz
- Lisa Powers, former Penn State Communications Director
- Anthony Sessano, Attorney General investigator
Laura Ditka, lead prosecutor for the attorney general's office, also said the state plans to call one confidential witness.
The trial, which according to Judge John Boccabella could last up to two weeks, will go over a time period of February 2001, when McQueary says he witnessed Sandusky in a Penn State locker room shower, to October 31, 2012.
Judge John Boccabella opened jury selection Monday by admitting to jurors the high-profile nature of this case.
"Put aside any preconceived notion you may have about this case....and keep an open mind," Judge Boccabella said. "It is of the greatest importance to the defendant and the commonwealth."