Local leaders react to Graham Spanier charges

An attorney for one of Jerry Sandusky’s victims called Thursday “another small step for justice.”

State Sen. Jake Corman said it was another sad day in the ongoing Sandusky child sexual abuse investigation.

They were among the local leaders reacting to charges filed Thursday against former Penn State president Graham Spanier and former administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.

“I think any of us who know all three of these gentleman find it hard to believe they would be involved in this type of activity that’s being alleged,” Corman said.

Spanier became the fourth person to be indicted in the Sandusky investigation. He’s accused of lying to a grand jury investigating the abuse and, along with Curley and Schultz, trying to cover up Sandusky’s actions.

Curley and Schultz, already awaiting trial for their alleged involvement in the “conspiracy of silence,” were hit with additional felony charges Thursday.

“The new charges confirm that administrators at the highest level at Penn State, including the university president, deliberately chose to protect Jerry Sandusky, the university and themselves rather than the children who are being abused on Penn State’s campus by Jerry Sandusky,” said State College attorney Justine Andronici, who is co-counsel for Victim 2.

“These Penn State officials must be held accountable for enabling and perpetuating Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children,” Andronici said.

Attorneys for Spanier fired back against the charges, calling them “the work of a vindictive and politically motivated governor working through an un-elected attorney general, Linda Kelly, whom he appointed to do his bidding and who will be a lame duck five days from now.”

Anthony Lubrano, a member of the Penn State board of trustees, also questioned the timing of the charges, filed five days before the November election, which will decide the state’s next attorney general. Kelly is not running.

“The timing of these charges seems rather curious to me,” Lubrano said in an email. “Hopefully, the decision to file charges just days before the election was not politically motivated.”

Kelly said the decision had no relation to the election and that officials waited until they had a strong enough case.

Local leaders said they had been expecting more charges to be filed in the case.

“I’m not surprised” Corman said. ‘This was the direction the attorney general had been going the last year.”

“This whole year has been a shock,” Corman continued. “It’s important to remember they haven’t had their day in court yet, and we’ll wait to give a final opinion until that happens.”

Lubrano cautioned against accepting the charges on face value. “We’re all entitled to due process,” he said.

Sen. Bob Casey, who was touring Centre County on Thursday, said the first goal was to punish the predator, and the second to “hold accountable anyone who aided or abetted or any way assisted the commission of these crimes.”

“I think after all that happens, it will finally provide a matter of justice for the families of those children, and also rebuild Penn State,” he said.