Ex-PSU president plans libel suit against Freeh

Graham B. Spanier is facing charges of perjury and other offenses in connection with the Sandusky probe. A court hearing is set for July 29.
Graham B. Spanier is facing charges of perjury and other offenses in connection with the Sandusky probe. A court hearing is set for July 29. (JASON MINICK / AP, File)
Posted: July 13, 2013

Former Pennsylvania State University president Graham B. Spanier filed notice in court Thursday that he plans to file a libel and defamation suit against former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, author of the scathing report that accused Spanier of aiding a conspiracy to conceal the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal.

Elizabeth K. Ainslie, Spanier's attorney, filed the notice in Centre County Court one day before the first anniversary of the issuance of the Freeh report.

Freeh was hired by Penn State to investigate how university officials dealt with allegations that Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, was sexually abusing children.

Freeh's report concluded that Spanier and other top university officials, including legendary football coach Joe Paterno, conspired for more than a decade to keep the allegations quiet.

Also named as defendants are Freeh's former law firm and Pepper Hamilton L.L.P., which acquired Freeh's firm.

Ainslie could not be reached for comment.

In an e-mailed statement, Freeh said: "Over the past year, Penn State has made a dedicated effort to reform the problems that led to Mr. Sandusky's ability to victimize children on the university campus. I trust the changes and improvements that Penn State has put in place will help to build a constructive and protective environment where children will not again suffer abuse."

Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for child-sex abuse. Paterno, 85, died of cancer last year.

In a lengthy critique of the Freeh report, attorneys for the former Penn State president asserted that "Dr. Spanier has been telling the truth from Day One."

Spanier, 64, has been charged with perjury, obstruction of justice, and other offenses stemming from allegations that he lied and withheld evidence during the grand jury investigation of Sandusky.

Also charged in the case are former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz.

All three are scheduled for a preliminary hearing July 29 in Dauphin County Court, where the case is being prosecuted by the state Attorney General's Office.


Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983, or bmoran@phillynews.com, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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