Sandusky prosecutor: Paterno not involved in cover-up

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In a clip that was slated to be aired on Showtime's "60 Minutes Sports" on Wednesday, Sandusky trial prosecutor Frank Fina said he didn't believe former Penn State University coach Joe Paterno contributed to the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse crimes.

"I'm viewing this strictly on the evidence, not any kind of fealty to anybody," he said.

Armen Keteyian -- the CBS journalist who interviewed the former prosecutors, Mr. Fina and Joseph McGettigan, asked him about Paterno again -- saying how the argument went that Paterno could have helped put a stop to it because of his prestige at the university.

"I don't see any need to judge him beyond his own words," Mr. Fina said. "He said it best, 'I didn't do enough. I should've done more.' "

In July 2012, Paterno was castigated by the Freeh Report, an investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh commissioned by the Penn State board of trustees. Mr. Freeh concluded that Paterno, along with former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president of business and finance Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley, "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade. These men concealed Sandusky's activities from the board of trustees, the university community and authorities."

In addition to Mr. Fina's comments about Paterno, who died in January 2012, the two prosecutors also condemned Mr. Curley, Mr. Schultz and Mr. Spanier. They said they believed the three men covered up for Sandusky and obstructed justice.

Mr. McGettigan said, "The simplest level of explanation for their thinking is, 'Well, that was then. That was Jerry Sandusky. That was someone else. This is now. Let's move on. We are Penn State.' "

Mr. Fina now works for the Philadelphia district attorney's office, and Mr. McGettigan is in private practice.

On Wednesday, Mr. Schultz's attorney, Thomas Farrell, had filed a motion to prevent the interview from being aired "in order to prevent irreparable harm to Mr. Schultz." Mr. Curley had also joined in filing the motion, which the judge did not rule on.

The motion said Mr. Fina "violates the most fundamental rules of professional conduct for prosecutors" by giving an interview about open cases that may harm the defendants' right to a fair trial and expressing a personal opinion about the defendants' guilt.

The interview and pretrial publicity would "make a fair trial impossible, if that possibility still exists," according to the filing.

state

Staff writer Lexi Belculfine contributed. Mark Dent: mdent@post-gazette.com, 412-439-3791 and Twitter @mdent05.


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