Spanier facing charges in Sandusky child abuse case at Penn State
Perjury, obstruction announcement due
November 1, 2012 1:00 PM
Mark Stehle/Associated Press
Former Penn State University President Graham Spanier
By Paula Reed Ward Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
State Attorney General Linda Kelly is expected to announce today that former Penn State University President Graham Spanier has been charged in relation to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, according to sources close to the investigation.
The sources, who requested anonymity, said Mr. Spanier is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.
The longtime Penn State president was forced to resign in the wake of charges being filed against Sandusky a year ago and has been long identified as a target in an investigation of a possible coverup by university administrators.
In the grand jury presentment returned on Sandusky in November 2011, the document noted that Mr. Spanier "denied being aware of a 1998 University Police investigation of Sandusky for incidents with children in football building showers."
Ms. Kelly said from the earliest days of the charges being filed against Sandusky that Mr. Spanier had not been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Mr. Spanier's attorneys had no comment late Wednesday.
Mr. Spanier spoke out for the first time in late August, heavily criticizing the report commissioned by Penn State and led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh in which Mr. Spanier was said to have known about allegations that Sandusky was seen abusing a boy in a football team locker room on Penn State's campus in 2001 and failed to go to authorities.
The Freeh report included an email sent to Mr. Spanier by former vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz on June 9, 1998, referencing the earlier investigation.
Mr. Spanier said he never knew any details about the 2001 incident, and that at the time he was simply given a "heads-up" that others in his administration were dealing with Sandusky for engaging in "horseplay" in the shower.
The day before Mr. Spanier made those statements to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, attorneys on his defense team characterized the Freeh report as a "blundering and indefensible indictment." Further, they said they didn't believe the state attorney general had a "scintilla of evidence" that could support charges similar to those faced by Mr. Schultz and Penn State athletic director Tim Curley.
Both men are charged with perjury based on statements they made to the grand jury investigating the Sandusky matter and for failure to report suspected child abuse.
They are scheduled for trial in January in Harrisburg, though their lawyers have asked for a delay.
Ms. Kelly, who was appointed to the post by her predecessor Gov. Tom Corbett, will be a lame duck following next week's election.
She filed the charges against Sandusky after the investigation began under Corbett's administration more than two years earlier.
Both candidates for AG -- Democrat Kathleen Kane and Republican David Freed -- have said during the campaign that they plan to do an independent review of the Sandusky investigation and its fallout if elected.
In June, a jury found Sandusky, 68, guilty of 45 counts of child sex abuse in incidents dating as far back as 1997. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.