HARRISBURG, Pa. — The
"conspiracy of silence" that protected Jerry Sandusky extended all the
way to the top at Penn State, prosecutors said Thursday as they charged
former university president Graham Spanier with hushing up child sexual
abuse allegations against the former assistant football coach.
Prosecutors also added counts
against two of Spanier's former underlings, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz,
who were already charged with lying to a grand jury.
"This was not a mistake by these
men. This was not an oversight. It was not misjudgment on their part,"
said state attorney general Linda Kelly. "This was a conspiracy of
silence by top officials to actively conceal the truth."
Spanier's lawyers issued a
statement that asserted his innocence and described the new charges as
an attempt by Gov. Tom Corbett to divert attention from the three-year
investigation that began under his watch as attorney general.
"These charges are the work of a
vindictive and politically motivated governor working through an
unelected attorney general … whom he appointed to do his bidding," the
four defense lawyers wrote.
Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley said the defense statement "sounds like the ranting of a desperate man who just got indicted."
Curley's lawyer Caroline Roberto
said he was innocent of all charges, as he has asserted in the past. She
said the new documents were being reviewed and would have a more
comprehensive comment later. Schultz also has maintained his innocence;
his lawyer did not return a message seeking comment.
At a Capitol news conference,
Kelly said all three men "knowingly testified falsely and failed to
provide important information and evidence."
Spanier was charged with perjury,
obstruction, endangering the welfare of children, failure to properly
report suspected abuse and conspiracy. Curley and Schultz face new
charges of endangering the welfare of children, obstruction and
The charges were filed with a
suburban Harrisburg district judge, whose office said Curley and Schultz
were expected to be arraigned Friday afternoon and Spanier tentatively
scheduled to appear Wednesday. They came nearly a year to the day that
Sandusky was arrested.