A CNN report aired Friday night detailed how former Penn State officials responded to then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary's 2001 account of Jerry Sandusky's abuse of a boy in the Nittany Lion locker room with an exchange of e-mails and, eventually, a failure to report the incident to state authorities.
According to CNN sources, e-mails show that vice president Gary Schultz, athletic director Tim Curley, and president Graham Spanier had initially settled on a plan in which they would speak with "the subject" -- Sandusky -- as well as his Second Mile charity and the Department of Welfare.
Those emails took place 16 days after McQueary offered his account. But Curley backed out of that plan in a second e-mail exchange.
"After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe [Paterno] yesterday," CNN quoted Curley from an obtained e-mail, "I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps. I am having trouble with going to everyone, but the person involved."
Curley later emailed that if the athletic department could "work with" Sandusky and get him "professional help," they could avoid going to either Second Mile or the Department of Welfare. In an e-mail CNN reports was sent two hours later, Spanier agreed with that plan.
“I am supportive,” Spanier was quoted as writing. “The only downside for us if the message isn't heard and acted upon, and then we become vulnerable for not having reported it.”
Curley also referred to "the first situation"--likely a reference to the abbreviated 1998 investigation into Sandusky after an 11-year-old boy told his mother Sandusky had bear-hugged him naked in the showers of Penn State's Lasch Building.
No one at Penn State would report the 2001 incident to authorities. Victim 5 would eventually testify that he was abused in the Penn State showers in August 2001, only months after the e-mail exchange.
Both Curley and Schultz have been charged with perjury regarding their testimony to a grand jury concerning the 2001 McQueary incident, as well as failure to report suspected child abuse to authorities. They have disputed the charges and have their next hearing in their upcoming trial scheduled for July 11.
Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 counts of sexual abuse June 22, and faces a maximum sentence of 442 years in prison.