HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania law requiring some school officials and others to report suspected child abuse does not apply to a Penn State administrator who's accused of keeping quiet about allegations that a former football coach molested a boy in a shower, the administrator's attorney said Sunday.
The comments by Pittsburgh lawyer Thomas J. Farrell offer a preview of the defense he plans to use on the charge of failing to report faced by his client, Gary C. Schultz, the university's senior vice president for finance and business.
The charge is part of a broader case centered on retired Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who is accused of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. Schultz, 62, and Penn State athletic director Tim Curley, 57, both were charged Saturday with failing to report to state and county officials that a witness told them he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a naked boy in the showers of a team facility in 2002.
Schultz and Curley also face perjury charges. Lawyers for all three say they are innocent.
Farrell told The Associated Press on Sunday that the mandated reporting rules only apply to people who come into direct contact with children. He also said the statute of limitations for the summary offense with which Schultz is charged is two years, so it expired in 2004.
Under the leadership of Joe Paterno, Penn State's football program has become a bedrock in the college game. Paterno is not implicated in the case.
The grand jury report that lays out the accusations against the men cites the state's Child Protective Services Law, which requires immediate reporting by doctors, nurses, school administrators, teachers, day care workers, police and others.
Neither Schultz nor Curley appear to have had direct contact with the boys Sandusky is accused of abusing, including the one involved in the eyewitness account prosecutors say they were given. Prosecutors say Sandusky encountered victims through The Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk children.
The law "applies only to children under the care and supervision of the organization for which he works, and that's Penn State, it's not The Second Mile," Farrell said of his client.