Former Penn State President Graham B. Spanier has become the latest and highest ranking former university official to be charged in the scandal involving child molestation by former coach Jerry Sandusky. He is the third school official to be accused of crimes in the alleged cover-up. We have previously discussed the case as a pile up of bad legal advice and horrendously bad judgment by the university president and his general counsel.
In addition to charging Spanier with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children and conspiracy, prosecutors added charges against Timothy M. Curley and Gary C. Schultz, who were already charged with lying to the grand jury that investigated the former Penn State assistant football coach. They will now also face charges of endangering the welfare of children, obstruction and conspiracy.
Notably, Schultz maintained a Sandusky file in his office and told his secretary never to look at it.
Spanier has long blamed his subordinates, including his general counsel, and insisted that he was uninformed of the serious allegations involving Sandusky and children. Prosecutors insist that that is a lie and that he knew of the allegations. This included a 1988 lawsuit by the mother of one of the victims which was the subject of emails. In one email, Spanier responded to a proposal by Curley in which they would not report Sandusky to authorities but instead tell him to seek help and not bring children into Penn State facilities. Spanier responded “The only downside for us is if the message isn’t `heard’ and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it. The approach you outline is humane and a reasonable way to proceed.” I fail to see how humane it is to leave a pedophile unreported. Putting that aside, it is certainly not the most lawful “way to proceed,” as indicated by these charges.
Spanier will be in court today to answer the charges.
Source: USA Today