Share This Page

Penn State ex-President Spanier arraigned, released on bail

| Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, 10:14 a.m.
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier leaves Harrisburg District Judge William Wenner's office Wednesday Nov. 7, 2012 in Harrisburg. Spanier was arraigned and released on bail at the brief court appearance on charges he lied about and concealed child sex abuse allegations involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A judge on Wednesday arraigned former Penn State University President Graham Spanier and released him on bail at a brief court appearance on charges he lied about and concealed child sex abuse allegations involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Spanier, accompanied by his wife, signed paperwork after his bail was set at $125,000, but he was not required to post any of that amount. District Judge William Wenner ordered him to forfeit his passport and be fingerprinted. Spanier didn't enter a plea.

Defense attorney Elizabeth Ainslie told reporters her client is “not guilty, absolutely” and disputed prosecutors' claims Spanier conspired with athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz. She said Spanier, who testified before a grand jury in the matter, has not been given the opportunity to present his side of the story.

“This wasn't a conspiracy of silence,” she said, echoing the charge made last week by state Attorney General Linda Kelly. “That is ridiculous.”

Authorities last week charged Spanier, 64, with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to report suspected abuse and conspiracy for his actions in response to complaints about Sandusky showering with children. Spanier has claimed he is being framed for political purposes.

He served as Penn State's president for 16 years but was forced out a year ago after Sandusky was charged along with Curley and Schultz, who were two of Spanier's top underlings. Spanier is on paid leave as a member of the faculty.

Along with the charges against Spanier, prosecutors added counts against Curley and Schultz. They were arraigned Thursday. Wenner told Spanier and his lawyers the Nov. 16 preliminary hearing date would likely be delayed a month or two.

A jury in June convicted Sandusky, 68, of 45 counts of abuse of boys, including some at campus facilities. He was sentenced last month to 30 to 60 years in prison.

Spanier's lawyers put out a statement last week that accused Gov. Tom Corbett, who was attorney general when the investigation began, of orchestrating the charges to divert attention from questions about why it took three years to bring charges against Sandusky. They said there was no factual basis for the Spanier charges and said the grand jury report was “a politically motivated frame-up of an innocent man.”

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley called the claims ”the ranting of a man who has just been indicted for covering up for a convicted pedophile. His arrogance reveals a man who has just found out that he is not above the law after all.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.