Experts: Ex-PSU president could still face charges

Author: , (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published: Aug 16 2012 09:36:33 AM EDT
Graham Spanier - former Penn State president

More than a month after an explosive investigative report accused Penn State's ousted president of burying child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky, Graham Spanier has so far avoided criminal charges, unlike two of his colleagues.

That doesn't mean he's in the clear, according to legal experts.

As attorneys for Athletic Director Tim Curley and retired Vice President Gary Schultz try to persuade a Dauphin County judge to dismiss the case against them on Thursday, Spanier remains vulnerable to criminal charges over his alleged role in a scandal that has shaken Penn State to its core, outside lawyers said.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh's university-commissioned report that accused the ex-president , along with Curley, Schultz and football coach Joe Paterno, of covering up a 2001 allegation against Sandusky could help lay the groundwork for a prosecution.

"The Freeh report, whose findings of fact and conclusions were not challenged by PSU, suggests potential liability for Spanier," said Paul DerOhannesian, an Albany, N.Y., defense attorney and former sex-crimes prosecutor who has been following the Penn State case.

"If I was in the state AG's office, I would seriously be looking at" a criminal case against Spanier, said another defense lawyer, Will Spade, a former Philadelphia prosecutor who worked on a grand jury investigation of priests about a decade ago.

A spokesman in the attorney general's office, Nils Frederiksen, declined to comment, citing an "ongoing and active investigation" into the Sandusky matter.