Former Penn State President Is Charged With Concealing Child Abuse
Graham B. Spanier, the former president of Pennsylvania State University who was once one of higher education’s highest fliers, was charged on Thursday with conspiring to cover up child-abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, the former Nittany Lions football coach who was convicted in June on 45 counts of molestation.
State prosecutors say Mr. Spanier, who has devoted his professional life to studying the welfare of children, and two other top Penn State officials repeatedly ignored signs that Mr. Sandusky was abusing boys in Penn State’s football showers, and instead gave the former coach unfettered access to university facilities in disregard of the safety of children.
In addition to conspiracy, prosecutors charged Mr. Spanier with failing to report a crime, obstructing justice, perjury, and endangering the welfare of children. Of the eight counts he faces, five are third-degree felonies, each punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Two of Mr. Spanier’s subordinates who were previously charged with lying to a grand jury—Gary C. Schultz, the former senior vice president for finance and business, and Timothy M. Curley, the athletic director on administrative leave—were also charged on Thursday with criminal conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and endangering the welfare of children.
“This was not a mistake by these men, this was not an oversight,” Linda Kelly, the Pennsylvania attorney general, said at a news conference. “This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials to actively conceal the truth.”