Judge: Ex-Penn State President Graham Spanier ordered not to have contact with trustees

mdawson@centredaily.comDecember 31, 2012 

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier has been ordered not to have contact with any former or current university trustees.

The mandate was part of some changes Harrisburg-area District Judge William Wenner made Friday to the bail for Spanier, who is accused of covering up abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky and obstructing prosecutors’ investigation. What prompted the judge to impose the no-contact provision is not known, as there were no written motions to that effect by the prosecuting or defense attorneys in the case.

Spanier, of State College, had been prohibited from leaving the state as part of the original bail conditions Wenner set in November. But Spanier’s attorneys asked the judge to loosen the travel restrictions, saying Spanier wanted to visit family in the Midwest over the holidays and go to Europe in the spring.

Wenner refused to budge on the international travel ban, but the district judge did allow Spanier to travel in the United States as long as he gives the court his travel itinerary five days before he goes out of town.

In addition, Spanier has been barred from contacting any of the prosecution’s witnesses in the case, for which the preliminary hearing has not been rescheduled since it was postponed in December.

Spanier’s attorneys have vowed to fight the charges and maintain that their client is innocent.

When the case does go to the preliminary hearing stage, former university lawyer Cynthia Baldwin is expected to be a prosecution witness. But Spanier’s attorneys have asked the judge to keep her from taking the stand on the grounds she violated attorney-client privilege when she testified at the grand jury against Spanier.

Spanier, forced out as president in November 2011 days after the Sandusky child abuse allegations rocked the community, has president emeritus status and remains a tenured professor in the College of Health and Human Development.

Spanier and former university leaders Tim Curley and Gary Schultz all face perjury, obstruction of justice and related charges for what the attorney general said was a “conspiracy of silence” to hide the abuse allegations against Sandusky.

Curley’s and Schultz’s attorneys have said their clients are innocent, too.

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