Reason debated for former Penn State lawyer Baldwin's about-face
By Brian Bowling
Published: Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A lawyer for former Penn State University President Graham Spanier claims that the school's former top lawyer changed her story about Spanier in 2012 to avoid prosecution in the child sex abuse cover-up case that has ensnared him and two other former university officials.
Cynthia Baldwin's lawyer denied the allegation and said the former state Supreme Court justice and university trustee changed her mind about Spanier based on new evidence uncovered by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who conducted an investigation at the university's request.
Baldwin referred to Spanier as a “man of integrity” during a federal security clearance background investigation in the spring of 2012, said Elizabeth K. Ainslie, a Philadelphia attorney who represents him.
But Baldwin told the grand jury investigating Spanier in October that he had lied to her and the 2011 grand jury investigating Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, on child sex abuse charges, according to a transcript of Baldwin's testimony.
Ainslie said Baldwin met with state investigators on Oct. 19, 2012, and signed a letter allowing her to talk with them without having her statements used against her.
“A week later, Ms. Baldwin went into the grand jury, without Dr. Spanier's knowledge, and testified against him,” Ainslie said. “We believe this chronology — showing Cynthia Baldwin's remarkable flip-flop — speaks for itself,”
Six days after Baldwin's testimony, state prosecutors charged Spanier and the two others with helping cover up complaints about Sandusky, who was convicted of abusing 10 boys over 15 years, often on Penn State property.
Baldwin's lawyer, Charles De Monaco, Downtown, said Baldwin did not know in the spring of 2012 about how Spanier had handled reports about Sandusky.
“Much like the public at large, Justice Baldwin learned for the first time in the summer of 2012 about the conduct of the defendants as a result of documents and e-mails which were discussed for the first time with the release of the Freeh Report in July 2012,” he said.
De Monaco said the letter signed by Baldwin is one routinely signed by witnesses before they talk to investigators. The grand jury subpoenaed Baldwin, and she testified without any grant of immunity, he said.
In addition to Spanier, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz are fighting charges of child endangerment, conspiracy, obstruction and perjury.
Tom Farrell, the Downtown attorney representing Schultz, declined to comment. Caroline Roberto, the Downtown attorney representing Curley, could not be reached.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Contact him at 412-325-4301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Louis Freeh gets expedited appeal to Graham Spanier suit
- Dog wardens will canvass state for license compliance
- Tobacco companies expected to contest Pennsylvania’s settlement on payments
- Many emergency room patients have dental problems
- Man tosses $1.25M worth of lottery tickets
- Lawrence County cops dress as Amish to target flasher
- LCB’s alcohol-education conference addresses challenges of college towns
- West Chester University’s town-gown effort to tackle drinking lauded at LCB conference