Sunday, January 21, 2018

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier is arraigned

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was arraigned and released on bail at a brief court appearance Wednesday 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. He was ordered to forfeit his passport and be fingerprinted. He didn't enter a plea.

Afterward, defense attorney Elizabeth Ainslie told reporters her client is "not guilty, absolutely" and disputed prosecutors' claims Spanier conspired with university 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.

Spanier, 64, was charged last week with perjury, obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly 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.

Curley, the athletic director on leave until the final year of his contract expires, and Schultz, now retired, await trial in January on charges of failure to report suspected abuse and perjury.

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