Spanier Faces Scrutiny Over Role In Scandal; 2 Administrators Face Charges
More than a month after an explosive investigative report accused Penn State's ousted president of burying child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, Graham Spanier has so far avoided criminal charges — unlike two of his colleagues.
That doesn't mean he's in the clear, according to legal experts.
As attorneys for Athletic Director Tim Curley and retired Vice President Gary Schultz try to persuade a Dauphin County judge to dismiss the case against them today, Spanier remains vulnerable to criminal charges over his alleged role in a scandal that has shaken Penn State to its core, outside lawyers said.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh's university-commissioned report that accused the ex-president — along with Curley, Schultz and football coach Joe Paterno — of covering up a 2001 allegation against Sandusky could help lay the groundwork for a prosecution.
There could be a number of reasons why prosecutors haven't moved against Spanier, who led Penn State for 16 years until leaving office under a cloud four days after Sandusky's arrest. Prosecutors could have evidence that contradicts the findings of the Freeh report, for example. Or they could simply be taking their time to strengthen a potential case against Spanier,
Sandusky, the longtime architect of Paterno's football defense, was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys. He awaits sentencing on 45 counts.
Curley and Schultz were charged in November with failing to report suspected child abuse, as required by law, and perjuring themselves before the grand jury investigating Sandusky. They have pleaded not guilty. The defendants themselves are not expected to be in court today as their lawyers argue their case.
Spanier also remains a tenured faculty member at Penn State, although he is on sabbatical until December and it is unclear whether he will return. University spokesman Dave La Torre said only that Spanier's "status is under review," declining to elaborate.
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