November 2, 2012
Police charged former Penn State president Graham B. Spanier on Thursday with conspiring with top university officials to conceal the actions of football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Spanier is the third top university official to be charged in the Sandusky sex abuse cover-up. He has been the president of the university for 16 years.
The other men criminally charged include Timothy M. Curley and Gary C. Schultz. The three now faces charges of perjury, obstruction, conspiracy and endangering the welfare of children.
It seems the state of Pennsylvania is charging every top university official for concealing the truth behind Sandusky’s actions. In fact, the only person not charged in the Sandusky scandal is former head football coach Joe Paterno, who was asked to step down when the scandal came out a year ago and died of cancer several months later. He was named in investigations as one of the people who concealed Sandusky’s crimes in order to protect the university and its football program.
Sandusky, 68, was convicted of 45 counts of child abuse involving 10 boys over 15 years. He was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison. He was transferred to a maximum security prison earlier this week and is under protective custody. He spends 23 hours out of every 24 in his cell.
In November, 2011 Sandusky was arrested and formally charged. However, prosecutors claim that allegations of child abuse, including showers with boys at a campus football training facility, were reported years earlier.
One case was from an incident reported in 1998 and a second involved a graduate assistant who said he witnessed an abusive incident in 2001. The mother of the child involved in the incident in 1998 reported the abuse to police and the graduate assistant apparently went to Paterno.
Eventually word reached Spanier, Curley and Schultz. Curley, 58, is the university’s former athletic director now on leave. Schultz, 63, retired as vice president for business and finance. The state of Pennsylvania alleges that the trio did not take action against Sandusky.
Pennsylvania Atty. Gen. Linda Kelly believes all three men turned a blind eye to Sandusky’s criminal acts and hid them to protect the school and its football program.
An internal investigation conducted by a former FBI director alleges that the men sent emails to one another discussing Sandusky and their decision to not report him to authorities. Kelly claims the emails are part of the reason the men were formally charged.
All three men insist they are innocent. A trial date has been set in January for Curley and Schultz to face the perjury charges.
The charges these men face are undoubtedly serious. Due to the Sandusky scandal, the State of Florida increased its reporting requirements and amped up the criminal consequences associated with failing to comply.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill into law in April of this year requiring anyone to report known or suspected cases of child sex abuse. The new law that took effect last month, called the “Protection of Vulnerable Persons” gives Florida some of the toughest mandatory reporting requirements in the nation in regards to sexual abuse violations occurring on school and university campuses. Any person who “willfully and knowingly” does not report cases of child sex abuse will face fines up to $1 million per incident and could be subject to criminal charges.
This law not only encourages, but mandates every person that has reasonable cause to believe a child is being sexually abused or has been in the past to report it to authorities. All suspicions of child sex abuse must be reported as well, even if later investigations reveal that no actual abuse occurred. If you or someone you love has been accused of sexually abusing a child, it is important to seek the help of an experienced Florida sex crimes attorney immediately. A Florida Sexual Abuse Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can thoroughly assess allegations of sexual abuse and help you develop an effective defense to prove your innocence. We can also answer any questions you may have regarding the state of Florida’s child sex abuse reporting laws. Contact us today online or call us statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529.