Roberto's comments came during a pretrial hearing in Dauphin County court for Curley and former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz, who face charges of perjury and failing to report abuse in connection with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Prosecutors allege the pair failed to notify outside authorities when graduate assistant Mike McQueary told them in 2001 that he saw Sandusky molesting a boy in a football locker room shower. Both also stand accused of later lying about it to a grand jury investigating the former assistant football coach a decade later.
Curley and Schultz have maintained that McQueary never made clear to them the sexual extent of what he saw and have said as they understood it, the graduate assistant was describing mere, if questionable, "horseplay."
But while the case began last year as a war of words - McQueary's version of events against theirs - prosecutors' ongoing investigation has since uncovered e-mails from 2001 suggesting Curley and Schultz, along with former university president Graham B. Spanier, understood McQueary's allegations were at least serious enough to consider alerting outside authorities.
The trio debated whether to report Sandusky, before ultimately deciding to handle the matter internally in an e-mail exchange that stretched over several days.
At Wednesday's court hearing, defense lawyers challenged the addition of those e-mails as trial evidence and sought to have the perjury counts tossed, arguing prosecutors were wielding the charge to punish the administrators for the decisions they made rather than any specific lies they may have told.
"The fear is that this will become a trial about whether Mr. Curley or Mr. Schultz exercised the proper judgment. That isn't what a perjury case is about," said Schultz's attorney Thomas J. Farrell. "The jury will say: 'We don't like the way they responded, so we'll convict them.'"
In fact, the lawyers said, Curley and Schultz's grand jury testimony syncs nearly perfectly with McQueary's, even though the conclusions they reached were worlds apart.
Testifying at a preliminary hearing in December, McQueary said he made clear to both administrators that while he was not close enough to make out an explicit sex act between Sandusky and the child, he saw them naked together and engaged in an encounter he described as "way over the line."
By comparison, Curley told grand jurors months earlier that McQueary reported "body contact" between Sandusky and the child. And while he described the picture painted by the graduate assistant as "inappropriate behavior," he stopped short of calling it sexual when pressed by prosecutors.
Faced with a similar question during his time on the grand jury stand, Schultz asked for a definition of what prosecutors meant by sexual before ultimately conceding it could have been viewed that way.
So while, McQueary, Curley and Schultz all seemed to agree about the facts described in their 2001 conversation, the three differed on whether those facts suggested a serious crime had occurred, said Farrell.
"I challenge the prosecution to find any other case in this country in which a perjury prosecution was based on a characterization that something was serious or not," he said.
Rather than take the bait, Deputy Attorney General Bruce Beemer responded simply: "We believe there's an abundance of evidence to show they lied and that they had reason to lie."
Also Thursday, Judge Todd A. Hoover considered defense motions seeking access to investigators' interview notes and a detailed list of lies their clients' allegedly told, but he made no rulings.
Scheduled debate was postponed on a fourth defense request to throw out failure to report charges, based on an argument that the statute of limitations had expired at the time Curley and Schultz were indicted.
Hoover made no indication of when he might hear that motion or rule on any of the others.
If convicted on both counts, Curley and Schultz could face up to seven years in prison. Hoover has yet to set a date for their trial.
Contact staff writer Jeremy Roebuck at 267-564-5218, email@example.com, or @jeremyrroebuck on Twitter.
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