Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Spanier asks for more time to respond to Freeh

Graham Spanier asks for extension of time to respond to new allegations from Louis Freeh in Centre County defamation suit.
Graham Spanier asks for extension of time to respond to new allegations from Louis Freeh in Centre County defamation suit. AP file photo

Penn State’s former president would like a little more time.

On Wednesday, attorneys for Graham Spanier submitted a motion in Centre County court asking for an extension on a filing in his lawsuit against former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh.

Spanier is suing Freeh for defamation in reference to the university-commissioned report Freeh issued of his independent investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The report tarred Spanier, along with former athletic director Tim Curley, former vice president Gary Schultz and late longtime football coach Joe Paterno as being culpable in the case. Sandusky was convicted of 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse crimes in 2012, the same year Paterno died after being fired by the board of trustees.

In the documents, Spanier’s camp said more time was needed to respond to Freeh’s latest filing, an answer to the former president’s amended complaint that included 150 point-by-point replies as well as more than 20 pages of a new matter.

That new matter included heavy samplings from Spanier’s criminal trial in March. He was convicted of one count of child endangerment, the same charge that both Curley and Schultz pleaded guilty to before testifying against him. Sentencing for the three men is set for June 2 in Dauphin County.

According to Freeh’s filing, he is raising affirmative defenses, including substantial truth and lack of actual malice.

“To convict on that charge, the jury necessarily found beyond a reasonable doubt that plaintiff endangered the welfare of a child by violating a duty of care, protection or support and that plaintiff did so knowingly,” his attorneys wrote.

Spanier’s side said another week is needed to formulate an answer.

“In order to fully investigate the factual bases for defendant’s new matter allegations, and so that Dr. Spanier can properly admit or deny those allegations as necessary, Dr. Spanier requests a brief extension of one week for his response,” the motion reads.

The motion is unopposed by Freeh.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

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