Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Federal judge denies former Penn State president's bid to halt criminal case

HARRISBURG - A federal judge in Pennsylvania said Friday she would not halt the criminal case against Graham B. Spanier, the former Pennsylvania State University president accused of covering up child sex-abuse complaints against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane dismissed the legal action brought by Spanier against state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane.

Spanier contended that he was the victim of selective prosecution and that the federal court should intervene because prosecutors had improperly used testimony from a university lawyer he says was representing him when he appeared before a grand jury.

The judge's memorandum said her decision was based on a principle that federal courts should keep out of state prosecutions in all but the most extraordinary instances.

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A spokesman for the attorney general declined to comment, as did Spanier's lawyer, Liz Ainslie.

Spanier, who was forced out as university president after Sandusky was arrested on child-molestation charges in 2011, faces charges of perjury, obstruction, conspiracy, failure to properly report suspected abuse, and endangering the welfare of children.

He awaits trial in Dauphin County Court along with retired Vice President Gary Schultz, and retired athletic director Tim Curley.

Sandusky, who spent decades as an assistant coach under Joe Paterno, was convicted two years ago of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.

Associated Press
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