Spanier Requests Stay in Defamation Lawsuit Against Freeh
Graham Spanier is asking the courts to delay his defamation lawsuit against Louis Freeh until the criminal case against the former Penn State president is finished.
Spanier's attorney, Elizabeth Ainslie, writes in legal documents filed Monday that Spanier would be "greatly prejudiced" if the civil suit were to continue at the same time of the criminal proceedings.
After Sandusky was charged in November 2011, the Penn State Board of Trustees hired former FBI Director Freeh to investigate whether Penn State administrators tried to cover up allegations of child sex abuse against Sandusky. Spanier is heavily implicated in the Freeh's report.
Spanier claims that Freeh made numerous baseless and derogatory remarks in that report which states that Spanier, "repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities [PSU's] Board of Trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large." Spanier's attorneys say those allegations are both false and defamatory.
Spanier is seeking monetary damages. Spanier is also asking for a jury trial in his civil case.
Aisnlie writes that there might be overlap in witnesses called in the civil and criminal proceedings, and some might refuse to testify by pleading the Fifth Amendment. Ainslie argues that could adversely affect the ability to properly litigate Spanier's claims.
Attorneys for Spanier and Freeh did not return immediately respond to requests for comment.
Spanier is charged with perjury, endangering the welfare of children, failure to report, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice for allegedly concealing reports about Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse. Two other administrators -- former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz -- are also charged with the same offenses.
A trial date has not been set but the case is expected to go to court sometime next year. All three men maintain their innocence.