Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier Charged in Sandusky Scandal

Penn State's former president, Graham B. Spanier, has been charged with eight criminal counts in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The charges include obstruction of justice, perjury, and endangering a child.

As you probably know, earlier this year Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach and founder of a charity for troubled children, was convicted of more than 40 counts of child sex abuse.

The sex abuse allegedly took place over several years. Several incidents were brought to the attention of university officials, as some of the acts took place on school grounds.

Spanier was the president of Pennsylvania State University during this time.

From accounts and testimony during Sandusky's trial, Spanier and fellow university officials allegedly turned a blind eye to reports of Sandusky's abuse.

According to Pennsylvania State Attorney General Linda Kelly, this "turning a blind eye" was not due to a lapse of judgment. Instead, she said, it was a "conspiracy of silence by top officials at Penn State."

Conspiracy is the right word, if the allegations are true. And if you take a close look at the docket sheet, Spanier has been charged not only with perjury, but with conspiracy to commit perjury, conspiracy to obstruct the administration of the law, and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child.

These conspiracy charges come in addition to the underlying charges against Spanier.

Implicated in the conspiracy are Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. Curley is Penn State's former athletic director, and Schultz is an ex-Penn State vice president.

Conspiracy is a crime of its own, which exists when two or more people come together and agree to commit an unlawful act. They also must take an action toward the completion of the act, for there to be a conspiracy.

While their lawyers may argue that the trio took no action, it's the alleged cover-up that will be a problem for them.

Inaction is one thing. Deliberately covering up the crime of another person -- as alleged in the cases of Spanier, Curley, and Schultz -- is an entirely different ballgame.

Related Resources:

  • Look Up Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys (FindLaw)
  • How to Change Your Public Defender (FindLaw's Blotter)
  • Lack of Remorse: Jerry Sandusky Sentenced to 30 to 60 Years (FindLaw's Philadelphia Criminal Law News)