(CNN) — A judge ruled Tuesday that Penn State’s former president and two senior administrators will face trial on obstruction of justice and other charges related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
The decision followed a two-day preliminary hearing in Harrisburg that wrapped up on Tuesday.
“(This is) a tragic day for Penn State University, to say the least,” Judge William Wenner said.
State prosecutors allege that former President Graham Spanier, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Senior Vice President Gary Schultz all knew about two allegations made against Sandusky in 1998 and in 2001 but lied about their knowledge when a grand jury convened several years later.
All three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Sandusky, 68, was convicted in June 2012 on 45 counts of child sex abuse, ranging from corruption of minors to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
E-mails that surfaced during Penn State’s internal investigation into Sandusky’s actions led, in part, to criminal charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and failure to report child abuse against the three school officials.
The communications touch on a 2001 incident involving the former assistant football coach’s encounter with a boy in a shower on the Penn State campus. Afterward, the e-mails show, the men decided to ask Sandusky to stop bringing children from his charity into the locker rooms at the school.
Prosecutors have characterized this action as a conscious decision not to call police. Yet attorneys for the three men claim there is no evidence of a cover-up.
According to testimony at Sandusky’s trial, at least three of Sandusky’s known victims were abused after 2001.
A trial date for Spanier, Curley and Schultz has not been set.