CNN: Ex-Penn State President Didn't Report Sexual Assault Claims

STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania - CNN says it has seen e-mails showing that a former Penn State president agreed not to take allegations of child sex abuse against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to authorities, while worrying that university officials would be "vulnerable" for failing to report the claims.

CNN says the e-mails, first reported by NBC, followed a graduate assistant's 2001 report of seeing Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a team locker room shower.

On June 22, Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys after the scandal emerged last year. It shook one of the most prominent sports programs in the United States, one that that viewed itself as being above the ethics violations that plague many college sports teams.

The e-mails show that athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz intended to report the allegations, then reconsidered. Then-president Graham Spanier responded that he was "supportive" of their plan, but he worried they might "become vulnerable for not having reported it."

The scandal led to the firing of Spanier and revered coach Joe Paterno, as well as the filing of charges against Curley and Schultz, who are accused of perjury for their grand jury testimony and of failing to properly report suspected child abuse. Schultz and Curley deny the allegations and have asked a judge to dismiss the charges. Spanier hasn't been charged.

The CNN report cites a 2001 e-mail from Schultz to Curley suggesting that an allegation of Sandusky's sexual assault on a minor be brought to the Department of Welfare for investigation. But afterward Curley sent an e-mail to Spanier, saying that after talking to Paterno, he was "uncomfortable" with the plan and wanted first to work with Sandusky.