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Former Penn State president says there was no cover-up

Graham Spanier pleaded not guilty to engaging in a “conspiracy of silence” over the sex abuse scandal

Even with Jerry Sandusky locked up for what likely will be the rest of his life, the Penn State saga continues to drag on. And now the spotlight is on former Pennsylvania State University President Graham Spanier.

Yesterday, Spanier pleaded not guilty to charges that he and other Penn State officials took steps to cover up the child sex abuse that was occurring within the celebrated Penn State football program.

Last week, prosecutors charged Spanier and two other school officials—Tim Curley and Gary Schultz—with child endangerment, perjury, criminal conspiracy, failure to report suspected child abuse and obstruction for failing to report Sandusky’s assaults on children. Prosecutors said the defendants engaged in a “conspiracy of silence” to keep the scandal hidden from authorities and the media.

At Spanier’s arraignment, Harrisburg District Justice William Wenner made Spanier forfeit his passport and told him not to leave Pennsylvania. Spanier posted bail and was released. His lawyer, Elizabeth Ainslie, wouldn’t discuss the specifics of the case but told Thomson Reuters that her client was not guilty. "Dr. Spanier was never given a chance to speak to this 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," Ainslie said.

Wenner set a preliminary hearing for Nov. 16 but said it may be changed to January.

Check out InsideCounsel’s ongoing coverage of the Penn State scandal:

Whistleblower in Penn State sex abuse scandal sues school

NCAA fines Penn State $60 million

Penn State GC criticized in report

Former Penn State assistant coach to sue university

Lessons from the Penn State scandal

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Cathleen Flahardy

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