Former Penn State president Graham Spanier and his lawyers have attacked the report that put the ousted leader of Penn State squarely in the middle of a cover-up of child abuse.
Spanier, who was forced out as president of Penn State University shortly after the scandal broke, responded to the Freeh report on the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, calling it a “blundering and indefensible indictment,” The Associated Press reported.
The ex-Penn State president’s press conference is seen as a pre-emptive strike against the report, which could lead to charges for Graham Spanier. Speaking through his lawyer Timothy Lewis, Spanier called the Louis Freeh biased. The former FBI director and federal judge, Freeh used speculation on top of innuendo to accuse Spanier, Lewis claimed.
“The Freeh report, as it pertains to Dr. Spanier, is a myth. And that myth … ends today,” Lewis said at a Philadelphia news conference.
Graham Spanier, who did not attend the press conference himself, had previously told reporters that he didn’t understand the initial complaints against Sandusky to be sexual in nature.
“I’m very stunned by Freeh’s conclusion that — I don’t think he used the word ‘cover-up’; but he uses the word ‘concealed,’ ” Spanier told The New Yorker magazine. “Why on earth would anybody cover up for a known child predator? Adverse publicity? For heaven’s sake! Every day I had to make some decision that got adverse publicity.”
Spanier had said that he believed Sandusky was accused of “horseplay,” including throwing water around in a shower and snapping towels.
“I wish in hindsight that I would have known more about Jerry Sandusky and his terrible, terrible hidden past so that I could have intervened because it would have been my instinct to do so,” he said.
Graham Spanier has put out an 18-page critique of the Freeh report, claiming that many of the allegations against Sandusky never actually reached the ex-PSU president.
Graham Spanier and coach Joe Paterno were both ousted in November, days after Sandusky was charged. Sandusky has been convicted of 45 counts of child abuse and is awaiting sentencing.