Disturbing details emerged at the sexual abuse trial of former assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. During the emotional testimony, the first witness who was identified in court documents as 'Victim 4,' said he was a teenager when the abuse began. NBC's John Yang reports.
Updated at 8:36 p.m. ET: Pennsylvania prosecutors are considering criminal charges against former top Penn State University officials for allegedly concealing what they knew about the conduct of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, law enforcement told NBC News.
As Sandusky's trial began Monday on 52 counts alleging that he abused 10 boys over 15 years, the sources said investigators had obtained new evidence, including internal university email messages and other documents.
Prosecutors made their first public reference to the material in a court filing Monday, saying they included a file on Sandusky that was “created, maintained and possessed” by former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz.
In addition, prosecutors said, the recently discovered emails “contradict” the testimony of Schultz, former athletic director Tim Curley “and others” before a grand jury about what they knew about an allegation of possible sexual misconduct by Sandusky.
A spokeswoman for Curley and Schultz said their lawyers had not yet seen the new filing by prosecutors and couldn’t comment on it. Both men were charged with perjury for their testimony regarding Sandusky last November.
Legal sources tell NBC the emails and documents were recently discovered by investigators for former FBI director Louis Freeh, whose firm has been hired by Penn State to conduct an internal investigation into the school’s handling of the Sandusky matter.
The documents, the sources say, show that former university President Graham Spanier and others discussed whether they were obligated to tell authorities about a 2001 allegation involving a late-night encounter in a Penn State shower room between Sandusky and a young boy, both of whom were naked.
The documents allegedly show that university officials even did legal research on whether such conduct might be a crime. But in one email exchange, Spanier and Schultz agreed that it would be "humane” -- to Sandusky -- not to inform social services agencies, two sources said.
Spanier, who was fired last November, hasn't been charged in the investigation. He recently sued Penn State seeking access the emails, saying he needed to inspect them to “refresh his recollection” before granting an interview to Freeh’s investigators. His lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.
The allegation had come from then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who testified he saw Sandusky in a Penn State shower room with a young boy committing what he thought was a sexual act. He was so disturbed, he said, that he called late Penn State coach Joe Paterno at home the next morning. Both Schultz and Spanier testified they didn’t report the McQueary allegation because they viewed it as an account of mere “horsing around” rather than sexual abuse.
McQueary — who is expected to testify for the prosecution at Sandusky's trial — originally testified to a grand jury that he saw Sandusky in the shower with a young boy in March 2002. An email revealed Monday indicates that Spanier, Schultz and Curley discussed what McQueary allegedly saw and whether to report it more than a year earlier.
In a statement to NBC News on Sunday, lawyers for Schultz and Curley said "the information confirms that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz conscientiously considered Mike McQueary's reports of observing inappropriate conduct, reported it to the University President Graham Spanier and deliberated about how to responsibly deal with the conduct."
Schultz, who headed the campus police at the time, previously testified to a grand jury that he knew about another alleged incident involving Sandusky and a young boy in a shower in 1998. That report was investigated by local authorities but never led to charges.
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