Spanier arraigned in Sandusky case

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HARRISBURG -- Former Penn State University president Graham Spanier was arraigned this morning in what the Pennsylvania attorney general has called a "conspiracy of silence" among school administrators in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.

The court proceeding took only minutes as Judge William Wenner set bail at $125,000 unsecured and explained Mr. Spanier would have to surrender his passport, undergo fingerprinting and limit his travel to within Pennsylvania unless he was granted court permission.

Mr. Spanier approached the bench to sign paperwork. Afterward, he and his wife he drove off in a gray sedan without answering questions shouted from waiting reporters and cameramen.

Judge Wenner said he penciled in a date later this month for a preliminary hearing but believes the proceeding is more likely to take place in January.

Outside the courthouse, reporters asked defense attorney Elizabeth Ainslie about Attorney General Linda Kelly's characterization of the allegations against Mr. Spanier and former Penn State colleagues as a "conspiracy of silence."

"That is ridiculous," Ms. Ainslie said. "Dr. Spanier was never given a chance to speak to this grand jury, to give his side of the story."

She said Mr. Spanier is not guilty of the charges and that his attorneys look forward to presenting his case.

Last Thursday, the attorney general announced Mr. Spanier, 64, would be charged with eight criminal counts, including perjury, endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and failure to report suspected child abuse.

Ms. Kelly also announced new charges against former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley, who were charged last November along with Sandusky.

Mr. Spanier resigned as president days after those charges were filed.

In June, a jury found Sandusky, the former assistant football coach, guilty of 45 counts of child sex abuse. He was sentenced to serve at least 30 years in prison.

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Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com or 717-787-2141.


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