Was Penn State's former president part of a 'conspiracy of silence'? (+video)
Penn State University's former president Graham Spanier became the highest ranking official charged in the Sandusky sex abuse scandal on Thursday. Two other formerly high-ranking Penn State officials face similar charges.
A grand jury has charged former Penn State President Graham Spanier with participating in a "conspiracy of silence" to cover up child sex abuse by former football coach Jerry Sandusky, Pennsylvania's attorney general said on Thursday.
The highest-ranking Pennsylvania State University official charged in the explosive case, Spanier, 64, was accused of child endangerment, perjury and criminal conspiracy, all felonies. He also faces misdemeanor counts of failure to report suspected abuse, conspiracy and obstruction of the administration of law.
"This is not a mistake, an oversight or a misjudgment. This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials at Penn State, working to actively conceal the truth, with total disregard to the suffering of children," Attorney General Linda Kelly told a news conference.
Two other officials, Athletic Director Tim Curley and retired Vice President Gary Schultz, also face new charges of child endangerment, criminal conspiracy and obstruction. They were charged in November 2011 with failure to report suspected abuse and perjury, and both have pleaded not guilty.
Sandusky, 68, a former assistant coach in Penn State's powerhouse football program, was convicted in June of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period in a scandal that rocked college sports and focused national attention on child sex abuse.
He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison, effectively a life sentence.