Former Penn State president charged for covering up Sandusky’s actions

Nickalas Tabbert

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was formally charged Thursday for hiding child sex-abuse complaints against Jerry Sandusky.

Prosecutors charged Spanier with participating in a "conspiracy of silence" to cover up the abuse, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said in a news conference.

Spanier was accused of child endangerment, perjury and criminal conspiracy. He also faces misdemeanor counts of failure to report suspected abuse, conspiracy and obstruction of the administration of law.

"This is not a mistake, an oversight or misjudgment," Kelly said. "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."

Spanier's lawyers issued a statement that asserted his innocence and described the new charges as an attempt by Gov. Tom Corbett to divert attention from the three-year investigation that began under his watch as attorney general, ESPN reported.

"These charges are the work of a vindictive and politically motivated governor working through an unelected attorney general … whom he appointed to do his bidding," the four defense lawyers wrote.

Two other officials, athletics director Tim Curley and retired Vice President Gary Schultz, also face new charges of child endangerment, criminal conspiracy and obstruction, Reuters said. They were charged in November 2011 with failure to report suspected abuse and perjury, and both have pleaded not guilty.

Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison last month. The former assistant football coach was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts in his child sex-abuse trial.