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Former Penn State president Graham Spanier arraigned; out on bail

November 07, 2012|By Michael Muskal
  • Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, center, leaves his arraignment in Harrisburg, Penn.
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, center, leaves his arraignment… (Christopher Weddle / Centre…)

Graham Spanier, former president of Penn State University, was arraigned and released on bail Wednesday on charges that he had hid allegations that former football coach Jerry Sandusky had sexually abused boys.

Spanier, 64, was charged last week with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly report suspected abuse and conspiracy in connection with the Sandusky scandal. Two  former university officials,  athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, face the same charges.

They are accused of acting together and avoiding taking any action on reports that Sandusky had molested boys, who were clients of a charity that Sandusky had founded. The sexual abuse took place in Sandusky’s home and in the showers at the football training facility at Penn State, among other venues.

Sandusky, 68, is in prison after he was convicted of 45 counts of abusing 10 boys over 15 years. He was sentenced to minimum of 30 years in prison, effectively a life sentence. Sandusky is appealing the case.

At his appearance, Spanier’s bail was set at $125,000. He signed paperwork and was released. He did not enter a plea.

When the charges were announced, Spanier, through his attorneys, insisted he was innocent and was being framed for political reasons. In a statement last week, Spanier's lawyers accused Gov. Tom Corbett, who was attorney general when the Sandusky investigation began, of orchestrating the charges against Spanier to divert attention from why it took prosecutors three years to bring charges against the former football coach.

On Wednesday, defense attorney Elizabeth Ainslie repeated that position, telling reporters that Spanier was “not guilty, absolutely.”

 “This wasn't a conspiracy of silence,” she said. “That is ridiculous.”

Spanier was president of the school for 16 years until he was forced out along with head football coach Joe Paterno after Sandusky was arrested last November. Spanier has continued on the university faculty.

Curley and Schultz were arraigned last week. Both have insisted that they are not guilty and are scheduled for trial on some of the charges in January.


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