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Cast of characters in Penn State scandal

Cast of characters in Penn State scandal

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Two years after the arrest of Jerry Sandusky on child molestation charges, the scandal continues to play out. An update on some of the key figures:



Role: Former assistant football coach and founder of The Second Mile charity for children, he was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.

Background: Arrested in November 2011 after a long investigation by a statewide grand jury. He had been a successful defensive coach for the Nittany Lions for 30 years, and prosecutors say he used his fame in the community and his charity to attract victims.

Charges: Convicted in June 2012 of indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors and endangering a child's welfare.

Status: Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison, effectively a life term. Last week his lawyers asked the state Supreme Court to consider his case on appeal.



Role: The longtime head football coach was told by former assistant football coach Mike McQueary in 2001 that he was deeply disturbed by seeing Sandusky and a boy in a shower on campus. Paterno relayed the report to Curley and Schultz.

Background: Penn State's head coach from 1966 through 2011 and major college football's winningest coach when he retired, Paterno offered to resign at the end of the 2011 season but trustees ousted him for "failure of leadership" surrounding allegations about Sandusky. He died of complications from lung cancer in January 2012. An investigation led by ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh said Paterno "was an integral part of this active decision to conceal" the abuse and that his firing was justified.

The NCAA has since vacated 111 of Paterno's 409 career wins as part of a package of scandal-related sanctions against the football team and university. The university removed his statue from outside the football stadium. Paterno's family maintains he did not know Sandusky was a pedophile and did not cover up anything.

His relatives and others have sued the NCAA over the Penn State sanctions and on other grounds, and last week the presiding judge heard oral argument regarding the NCAA's bid to have the case dismissed. The judge did not indicate when he will rule.



Role: Penn State's longtime president, he was forced out of the top job by university trustees after Sandusky's arrest but remains a tenured faculty member on paid administrative leave.

Background: Freeh concluded that Spanier failed in his duties as president by not informing trustees about the allegations against Sandusky or the subsequent grand jury inquiry. Spanier told investigators he wasn't notified of any criminal behavior by Sandusky during his 16 years as president.

Spanier has initiated a lawsuit against Freeh, and said last month in a request to delay the matter that the Freeh report was false and defamatory as it pertains to him.

He has been charged, along with former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz, with an alleged criminal cover-up of complaints about Sandusky. The Harrisburg judge handling the case has not set a trial date.

Charges: Perjury, child endangerment, conspiracy, obstruction, failure to report suspected child abuse. Awaits trial and denies the allegations.



Role: Former assistant football coach. He was a graduate assistant in 2001, when he says he witnessed Sandusky pressing himself against a boy in a team shower. McQueary took his complaint to Paterno.

Background: He testified at Sandusky's trial that he had "no doubt" Sandusky was molesting the boy. He has since filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the university, claiming he lost his $140,000-a-year job and was defamed by administrators. The case remains in its preliminary stages.

McQueary testified that Paterno told him "Old Main screwed up" - referring to university administrators - in its response to the scandal and warned McQueary that the school would try to make him a scapegoat.



Role: Penn State athletic director, now retired.

Background: Curley fielded McQueary's complaint about Sandusky in a team shower with a boy in early 2001. He told a grand jury he instructed Sandusky not to be inside university athletic facilities with any young people but said he did not think that anything criminal had occurred.

Charges: Perjury, child endangerment, conspiracy, obstruction, failure to report suspected child abuse. Awaits trial and denies the allegations.



Role: Penn State senior vice president for business and finance, now retired.

Background: Schultz told the grand jury that Paterno and McQueary reported the 2001 shower incident "in a very general way" but did not provide details. He said he believed Sandusky and the boy were "horsing around" but that no criminal activity occurred.

Charges: Perjury, child endangerment, conspiracy, obstruction, failure to report suspected child abuse. Awaits trial and denies the allegations.



Role: Republican governor of Pennsylvania, he was attorney general when the investigation into Sandusky was launched by that agency.

Background: Corbett is an ex-officio member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, although he did not actively participate until after Sandusky was charged.

Corbett filed an antitrust lawsuit over the NCAA sanctions but his case was dismissed earlier this year by a federal judge who said she could find nothing "that might nudge its conspiracy claim into 'plausible' territory."

Corbett is seeking a second term during next year's election. Questions about his handling of the matter could be a factor in the campaign.

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