Former Penn State President Graham Spanier has been charged with aiding in a cover-up of child sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky on Penn State’s campus.
The charges come almost a year after two former Penn State administrators were arrested on charges of concealing abuse allegations against the former assistant football coach.
Spanier faces five charges: conspiracy, obstruction of justice, endangering children, failing to report suspected child abuse and perjury.
Additional charges were also filed against former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly says the three men not only failed to report allegations of sexual abuse involving Sandusky — they concealed what they knew.
“If these men had done what they were supposed to do — and what they were legally required to do — several young men may not have been attacked by a serial predator,” Kelly said Thursday.
Paterno role also addressed
Kelly isn’t calling the investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal a closed case. However, the open question of the late Joe Paterno’s involvement is one issue prosecutors seem to have settled.
A grand jury presentment detailing charges against Spanier mentions the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno frequently.
He was evidently in touch with Spanier and the other administrators now charged with covering up what they knew about allegations that Sandusky had abused young boys.
The same was noted several months ago by the university’s internal investigation.
But Kelly won’t address, head-on, questions about whether Paterno would have been facing similar charges as Spanier.
“I’m not going to speculate or comment on Mr. Paterno’s relationship to this investigation,” she said. “He’s deceased, and that’s the end of it.”
The grand jury presentment also writes that Spanier considered Paterno something of a wild card. It describes Spanier being “disturbed” that he was in the dark about what Paterno was telling police.
Delay on charges
Why did it take a year for the attorney general’s office to file the charges?
Kelly says university officials thwarted the investigation’s attempts to gather evidence until Spanier was fired last November by the university’s board of trustees.
She said the work of the school’s internal probe, led by former FBI director Louis Freeh, also proved helpful.
It uncovered emails — between Spanier, Curley, and Schultz — which served as the underpinning of a report condemning the school for a culture of secrecy.
Kelly says they used their positions to cover up what they knew about Sandusky’s reported abuses.
Curley and Schultz were charged almost exactly a year ago with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse.
Now, they face the same charges as Spanier.
Sandusky was sentenced last month to 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse crimes.