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Fmr. Penn State President Charged in Sex Scandal

NewsBreakerNov 01 '12

Host @DavidBegnaud delivers breaking news and today's trending buzz in 45 seconds.  By Michael Isikoff, NBC News Pennsylvania prosecutors are preparing to charge former Penn State president Graham Spanier today with perjury and obstruction of justice relating to the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, sources tell NBC News. PennsylvaniaAttorney General Linda Kelly and state Police Commissioner Frank Noonan have scheduled a news conference in the state capital of Harrisburg to announce what the sources describe as a major new development in the case. It comes nearly one year after Sandusky, Penn State's former defensive coordinator, was arrested and charged with repeatedly abusing young boys dating back to 1996, setting off one of the biggest scandals in the history of college sports. Sandusky, the longtime deputy to the school's late legendary coach, Joe Paterno was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse last June and was recently sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison. In addition to the charges against Spanier, who served as Penn State's president for 16 years until he was fired last November, prosecutors have also prepared new charges against former top school officials who have already been indicted, ex-athletic director Tim Curley and ex-vice president Gary Schultz, who oversaw the state police. The charges against all three are based in part on evidence uncovered in a report last summer by former FBI director Louis Freeh. These included emails in which the ex-officials appeared to agree not to report to child welfare authorities a 2001 allegation by former graduate assistant Mike McQueary that he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in the Penn State shower room. Freeh said the emails show that Curley, Schultz and Spanier at first agreed to report the allegations by McQueary to child welfare authorities, but that Curley later changed his mind "after talking it over with Joe" -- a reference to Paterno. They then developed a new plan to encourageSandusky to seek professional help, according to the Freeh report. "This approach is acceptable to me," Spanier wrote in a Feb. 27, 2001 email to Curley and Schultz. The only downside for us if the message isnt 'heard' and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it. But that can be assessed down the road. The approach you outline and a reasonable way to proceed." Full coverage of the Sandusky trial Spanier, the lawyers for Curley, and Schultz -- and the family of Paterno -- have all denounced the Freeh report as biased and said the emails were taken out of context. Spanier has said he was only told Sandusky was "horsing around" with the young boy in the locker room and, in a press conference last August, one of his lawyers called the Freeh report a "blundering and indefensible indictment." Spanier's lawyers are planning to make a statement about the matter later today, one of his lawyers told NBC News.