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Expert Says Paterno’s Death Makes Perjury Prosecutions at Penn State Tougher

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(Gary Schultz, left, and Tim Curley leave a courtroom in central Pennsylvania in December 2011.  Credit: Rob Carr/ Getty Images)

(Gary Schultz, left, and Tim Curley leave a courtroom in central Pennsylvania in December 2011. Credit: Rob Carr/ Getty Images)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
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By John Ostapkovich

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) — The death of Joe Paterno over the weekend has thrown a curve at efforts to prosecute two former Penn State officials for perjury.

Former athletic director Tim Curley and former university vice-president Gary Schultz are charged with lying to a grand jury.  Assistant football coach Mike McQueary has testified that he told Paterno of seeing Jerry Sandusky, at the center of the scandal, doing something with a young boy in a shower (see related story).

Paterno had said that he passed that information on to his superiors (another related story), but now that Paterno is gone and cannot be cross-examined (see related story), a legal expert says that connection is effectively severed.

“So if they can’t prove what Paterno told them, how can they prove that what they told to the grand jury and the cops (is) false?,” asks Temple University law professor Louis Natali.  “Because they’re missing that Paterno link.”

Natali says there may be other evidence of perjury, but it’s up to prosecutors to present it.

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