Ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier charged in Sandusky sex abuse case

Former Pennsylvania State University President Graham Spanier was charged with perjury and obstruction as part of a “conspiracy of silence” in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said on Thursday.

Spanier also is charged with endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy and failure to report child abuse in the Sandusky scandal, which rocked college sports and focused national attention on child sexual abuse. Sandusky was a Penn State assistant football coach.

“This is not a mistake, an oversight or a misjudgment. This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials at Penn State, working to actively conceal the truth, with total disregard to the suffering of children,” Kelly told a news conference.

Two other former officials, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz, also face new charges of child endangerment, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. They had previously been charged with failure to report abuse and perjury, and both have pleaded not guilty.

NBC television reported on its “Today” show that the charges are based in part on emails uncovered during an investigation the university commissioned by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, whose report on the Sandusky scandal was issued this summer.

Spanier resigned as head of Penn State in November 2011 in the wake of the charges against Sandusky, who was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years and is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Mark Shade; Writing by Ian Simpson; Editing by Jackie Frank