LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP — Penn State’s former president was in court Wednesday morning near Harrisburg to face charges he allegedly helped cover up reports of Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse.
Graham Spanier arrived just before 9:30 a.m. to face charges including obstruction of justice, perjury, and endangering the welfare of children. The hearing was brief. Spanier was in and out of court within minutes.
Prosecutors allege Spanier and two other top officials at Penn State University knew of at least two times when Jerry Sandusky was reported to have sexually abused boys on campus.
But according to court papers, Spanier worked with the others to hide the abuse.
Spanier was forced to resign as president at Penn State one year ago when Sandusky was charged.
Top university officials Tim Curley and Gary Schultz were also charged in the alleged cover-up, which prosecutors called “a conspiracy of silence.”
“That is ridiculous, that’s absolutely ridiculous,” said Spanier’s attorney Elizabeth Ainsley. “Dr. Spanier was never given a chance to speak to the grand jury to give his side of the story and we look forward to the chance to present his side of the story in the future.”
Spanier did testify before the grand jury and that’s why prosecutors accuse him of lying under oath. To read the grand jury presentment, click here.
In an ABC News interview in September, Spanier said he himself was a victim of sex abuse and would never cover up something like what Jerry Sandusky is convicted of doing.
“At the time when i heard the term horseplay, and asked if there was anything more than that, and the answer was no,” Spanier told ABC’s Josh Elliot.
Both Tim Curley and Gary Schultz were also in court to face new charges late last week.
Sandusky was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys over more than a decade; many of them were abused right on the PSU campus.
All three men are free on bail and are expected in court in the next couple months.
Prosecutors said they want to try all three men together, so it’s likely a trial set for January for Curley and Schultz will not happen as currently scheduled.