AG announces charges against Graham Spanier in Sandusky case - abc27 WHTM

AG announces charges against Graham Spanier in Jerry Sandusky case

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Gary Schultz Gary Schultz
Tim Curley Tim Curley

Attorney General Linda Kelly has announced criminal charges against former Penn State University president Graham Spanier for his alleged role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Kelly on Thursday also announced additional charges against two former Penn State administrators; retired university vice president Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, the athletic director now on leave until the last year of his contract expires.

The attorney general during a noon news conference said Spanier, Schultz and Curley are accused of concealing information about suspected child abuse involving Sandusky, including on-campus incidents in 1998 and 2001, and obstructing the criminal investigation into the case.

"This is not a mistake, an oversight or a misjudgment," Kelly told reporters. "This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials at Penn State, working to actively conceal the truth with total disregard to the suffering of children."

Kelly said a grand jury presentment shows in great detail how the three administrators conspired to conceal and cover up the allegations.

"The grand jury issued a subpoena in December 2010, but pertinent emails and other key evidence were never turned over until April 2012, after these men had left their jobs," she said.

Kelly said Schultz kept notes and documents about allegations made in 1998 and 2001 in his campus office and told staff members they were never to look in that "Sandusky" file. She said the file was removed from Schultz's office and delivered to his home when charges against Sandusky, Schultz and Curley were announced last year.

The existence of the file and an "extensive amount" of other information that would have helped the investigation was not disclosed until after Spanier was ousted by the university's board of trustees, Kelly said.

Because Spanier, Schultz and Curley failed to do what was legally required of them when the matter first came to their attention, Kelly said at least four boys were sexually abused between 2001 and 2008.

Schultz and Curley were to be arraigned Friday before District Judge William Wenner in suburban Harrisburg. Spanier's court date was set for November 7.

Court documents indicate that Spanier will be charged with eight counts, including five third-degree felonies each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines. The felony charges include perjury, two counts of endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy to commit perjury, and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of children.

Spanier additionally faces three second-degree misdemeanors; one count each of obstruction, conspiracy to commit obstruction, and failure to report suspected child abuse, each punishable by up to two years in prison and $5,000 fines.

The new charges against Curley and Schultz include four third-degree felonies; two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, conspiracy to commit perjury, and conspiracy to commit child endangerment. Each also faces one second-degree misdemeanor count each of obstruction and conspiracy to commit obstruction.

Curley and Schultz were charged last year on counts of perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse and have denied the allegations.

Kelly said prosecutors would like for the three to go on trial together, but she said that decision is up to the judge assigned to the case. Curly and Schultz currently are awaiting trial in January.

In the 2001 incident, then-graduate assistant and former assistant coach Mike McQueary reported that he saw Sandusky with a young boy in a locker room shower in the campus football building. According to previous testimony in the case, McQueary reported the incident to longtime head football coach Joe Paterno and the two later met with Curley and Schultz.

When asked if Paterno would have been charged if he were alive, Kelly refused to speculate.

"He's deceased and that's the end of it," she said.

Spanier, 64, was president of Penn State for 16 years until November 9, 2011, when he and Paterno were ousted by the board of trustees four days after Sandusky's arrest.

The board of trustees later said in a statement that Spanier was removed because he failed to meet his leadership responsibilities and took insufficient action after learning of the locker room shower incident.

The board of trustees also said Spanier gave statements to news media that were not authorized and were contrary to instructions.

Spanier had issued a statement shortly after charges were filed against Schultz and Curley in which he said the two "operated at the highest levels of honesty" and had his "complete confidence."

Spanier in a statement following his resignation said a grand jury presentment on the Sandusky case described "acts that should never be tolerated or ignored," but an internal report on the scandal said Spanier, Paterno and others knew of abuse complaints and failed to go to authorities.

Former FBI director Louis Freeh, who was hired by the board of trustees to conduct the internal investigation, said in the July report that Spanier and others "repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities, the Board of Trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large."

The Freeh Report stated that Spanier either sent or received several emails discussing the 2001 incident and in one email agreed not to report the shower incident.

Spanier's attorneys have called the Freeh Report a "myth" filled with "false facts" and have said the former university president knew only of "horseplay," not sexual misconduct or criminal rape.

Spanier also defended himself in an August interview with ABC News. "The conclusions in that report, in effect that we conspired to conceal a known child predator, are just incorrect," he told the network.

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