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Spanier, Curley and Schultz Charged with Five Counts in 'Conspiracy of Silence'

by on November 01, 2012 12:59 PM

Three former top Penn State administrators – Tim Curley, Gary Schultz and Graham Spanier – each face five counts in connection to their involvement with the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case. 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly held a press conference at noon in Harrisburg on Thursday to announce the charges in what she called a 'conspiracy of silence.' Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was charged for the first time since the start of the investigation, while former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz received three new charges each. 

Curley, Schultz and Spanier are each charged with perjury, endangering the welfare of children, failure to report, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Curley and Schultz will be arraigned at 2 p.m. on Friday in Harrisburg and Spanier will return to Harrisburg at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday for his arraignment. 

Kelly said each man was well aware of the complaints of abuse filed against Jerry Sandusky – including the 1998 shower incident and again in 2002 – but did nothing. She said they exhibited "a pattern of behavior that showed an absolute disregard" for the children who were being abused. 

"They essentially turned a blind eye to the serial predatory behavior of Sandusky," Kelly said. 

While Spanier was still in office as university president, Kelly said it was difficult for the Attorney General's Office to glean information essential to the case. Once he stepped down in November 2011, it became much easier. The attorney general pointed to email exchanges between the former administrators and handwritten notes that were clear indicators of their knowledge of Sandusky's criminal behavior and their unwillingness to do anything about it.

"We must not lose sight of the consequences of their acts," Kelly said, referencing the many other victims that may have been spared sexual abuse at the hands of Sandusky had even one of the men come forward. 

Last year when news first broke of the grand jury presentment, there was speculation as to whether former Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno knew anything – and how much, if he did – about Sandusky's serial deviance. 

Kelly would not entertain any questions about Paterno at her press conference on Thursday, as he passed away after battling lung cancer in January. 

"I'm not going to speculate or comment on Mr. Paterno's relationship to this investigation. He's deceased, and that's the end of it," Kelly said. 

Kelly also said she would not speculate as to whether any current or former members of the Penn State Board of Trustees would have charges levied against them. She later denied the general election on Nov. 6 having any bearing on the release date of the presentment.

No election has had anything to do with or any influence on the Sandusky investigation," she said. 

The press conference concluded around 12:30 p.m. Penn State has yet to make a statement on the charges. The university has been paying for legal fees for Curley, Spanier and Schultz since the onset of the scandal. 

Sandusky, 68, was sentenced on Oct. 9 to 30-60 years in prison for his sex crimes against children. He was moved to SCI Greene on Wednesday, a maximum security prison, where he will serve out the duration of his sentence. 

Related coverage: 

Spanier Schultz Curley Presentment 11-1-12

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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