Former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy in a locker room shower took place in February 2001, a year earlier than previously claimed, prosecutors said today.
Prosecutors amended the date of the alleged incident to Feb. 9, 2001, from March 1, 2002, according to papers filed today in state court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
The change is the result of “specific and authenticated findings as part of the Commonwealth’s ongoing investigation,” Frank Fina, chief deputy Attorney General, wrote in the filing.
Sandusky, 68, is scheduled to face trial June 5 on more than 50 criminal counts tied to the alleged abuse of boys he met through a charity he founded for needy children. The case led to the firings of Penn State President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno, who died in January.
Sandusky is accused of assaulting the boy, who appeared to be about 10 years old, in the locker room of the Lasch Football Building on the University Park campus, according to a grand jury report. Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary, then a graduate assistant, testified to the grand jury that he saw the former coach having anal sex with a boy in the shower at the football team’s headquarters.
Joseph Amendola, a lawyer for Sandusky, argued in court papers filed in March that charges over the boy were based solely on McQueary’s testimony. The identity of the boy, identified only as Victim 2 in the grand jury report, is still unknown, Amendola said in the filing.
Amendola declined to comment on the change today, citing a gag order limiting comments ahead of the trial. A hearing is scheduled in the case on May 9.
McQueary’s testimony is at the center of a related case against university officials Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz over charges they lied to a grand jury about the original allegation and failed to report the incident to police.
Lawyers for Curley, Penn State’s athletic director who’s on leave from the university, and Schultz, a former vice president at the school, accused the state today of bringing charges “before it knew the facts.”
“It is clear that Mike McQueary was wrong in so adamantly insisting that the incident happened the Friday before Spring Break in 2002,” lawyers Caroline Roberto and Tom Farrell said in an e-mailed statement. “Whether or not Mr. McQueary’s insistence was the result of faulty memory, or questionable credibility, there is no dispute that the statute of limitations has expired on count two and it will be dismissed.”
The case is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Sandusky, CP-14-2422-2011, Court of Common Pleas, Centre County, Pennsylvania (Bellefonte).
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