by Kevin Johnson and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier and two other former
administrators were charged Thursday with perjury, obstruction of
justice, and endangering children in connection with their handling of
the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.
Prosecutors said all three
officials knew of complaints involving Sandusky, an assistant football
coach, showering with boys in 1998 and 2001 and failed to take action to
"This is about three powerful and influential men, three
men who used their positions at Penn State to cover-up and conceal the
activities of (Sandusky),'' said Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda
Kelly in announcing the charges.
Sandusky, 68, was convicted this
summer of 45 criminal counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys. He was
sentenced from 30 to 60 years in prison, but has maintained his
innocence and is pursuing appeals.
On Wednesday, he was
transferred to a prison in southwestern Pennsylvania that includes most
of the state's death row inmates, the Associated Press reported.
three administrators were accused of turning a blind eye to Sandusky's
"serial predatory acts" -- some of which occurred at Penn State athletic
facilities -- by failing to notify police or even attempt to learn the
identity of the victims.
Spanier is charged with five criminal counts,
while former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice President
Gary Schultz, who are already charged with perjury and failure to report
child abuse, are facing new allegations of conspiracy, obstruction and
The attorney general accused them of showing "callous lack of concern" for the victims.
was not a mistake by these men, this was not an oversight, it was not
misjudgment on their part," she said. "This was a conspiracy of silence
by top officials to actively conceal the truth."
Schultz have repeatedly asserted they are innocent, and at a news
conference this summer Spanier's attorneys insisted he was never told
there was anything of a sexual nature involving Sandusky and children.
attorneys for the three administrators had no immediate comment
Thursday on the latest charges. The defendants were scheduled to appear
in court on Friday.
Curley and Schultz are scheduled for trial in January on earlier perjury and failure to report charges.
State spokesman David La Torre said Thursday that Spanier, who
continued to serve as a tenured professors after he was fired as
president in November, "will be placed on leave, effective immediately."
charges against the 64-year-old Spanier involve statements he made to a
grand jury in 2011 in which he denied being aware of a university
police investigation of Sandusky over a shower incident.
charges stem in part from evidence uncovered in a report last summer by
former FBI director Louis Freeh, who was tasked by the university to
investigate the Sandusky case. Spanier and his attorney have denounced
the Freeh report.
The report concluded that Spanier, Curley,
Schultz and then-coach Joe Paterno concealed Sandusky's activities from
the university trustees and "empowered" the abuse by giving him access
to school facilities and the prestige of his university affiliation.
said the investigation turned up emails from 1998 in which the
administrators discussed the matter, including a May 5 email from Curley
to Schultz and Spanier, with "Joe Paterno" in the subject line. It
read: "I have touched bases with the coach. Keep us posted. Thanks."
told the Freeh team that he believed in 2001 that the encounter
amounted to "horseplay," although an email sent by him to Curley at that
time reflected a much more somber tone.
In that email, Spanier
was reacting to a proposal by Curley in which they would not report
Sandusky to authorities but instead tell him he needed help and that he
could no longer bring children into Penn State facilities.
only downside for us is if the message isn't 'heard' and acted upon, and
we then become vulnerable for not having reported it," Spanier wrote in
2001. "The approach you outline is humane and a reasonable way to
Paterno was also fired in the wake of the scandal after 45 years as head coach. He died in January.