Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was hit Thursday with an array of charges related to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. Spanier, who was formally implicated along with former subordinates Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, has become the third Penn State higher up to be charged with helping cover up pedophilia.
CBS News reported that Spanier was charged with obstruction of justice, perjury, endangering the welfare of children and conspiracy. Curley, the school’s athletic director who is on leave, and Schultz, the retired vice president of the school faced new charges of endangering the welfare of children, obstruction and conspiracy, although the two have claimed they knew nothing of a sexual nature had occurred with Sandusky and young boys.
“This case is about three powerful men who held high positions -- three men who used their positions to conceal and cover up for years the activities of a known child predator,” state Attorney General Linda Kelly said at a news conference in Harrisburg, according to NBC News. “This was not a mistake, an oversight or a misjudgment.”
This news comes almost a year after the allegations of Sandusky’s pedophilia initially became public. The former Penn State defensive coordinator was convicted on 45 counts of sex abuse and sentenced to a prison term of 30 to 60 years in a Pennsylvania state prison.
Thursday’s charges are in part based on evidence in the Freeh Report, a document compiled by a former FBI investigator that revealed how deceptive the three men had been with law enforcement in 2001 after Sandusky was witnessed raping boys in the Penn State locker room. An email exchange between Curley, Spanier and Schultz revealed the trio’s agreement that the issue would best be left with Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.
“Graham Spanier has committed no crime and looks forward to the opportunity to clear his good name and well-earned national reputation for integrity,” Spanier’s lawyers said in a statement. “This presentment is a politically motivated frame-up of an innocent man. And if these charges ever come to trial, we will prove it.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Spanier has pleaded to investigators that he was only aware of “horseplay” in the showers. The trial is scheduled to begin in January.