PHILADELPHIA (KDKA) — Attorneys for ousted Penn State president Graham Spanier are disputing allegations that he covered up reports of child sex abuse involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
However, a news conference Wednesday morning was cut short.
Spanier’s lawyers met with reporters in Philadelphia to discuss the investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
But a man claiming he was abused in the 1970s disrupted the session.
Earlier, Spanier’s attorney – former federal appeals court judge Timothy Lewis – blasted the Freeh Report, calling it biased.
“I know the difference between a balanced, fair and judicious assessment of evidence on the one hand, and a flat out distortion of facts – so infused with bias and innuendo – that it is quite simply unworthy of the confidence that has been placed in it, let alone the reported $6.5 million that the university paid for it,” said Lewis.
Lewis went after former FBI Director Louis Freeh himself, accusing Freeh of ignoring evidence that Spanier was never told of alleged sexual conduct on campus by Tim Curley, Gary Schultz or anybody else.
The Freeh report cites emails from Curley and or Schultz implying Spanier was in the loop on a 1998 investigation which resulted in no charges and concerns raised in 2001 about Jerry Sandusky.
Spanier’s lawyers call the results skewed.
“This can only be seen as a cynical attempt by a biased investigator to pile speculation on top of innuendo in order to support his version of the truth and it is sad,” Lewis said.
But when asked about a 2001 email in which Spanier writes, “The only downside for us is if the message isn’t heard and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it…”, Spanier’s lawyers were less specific.
“No. 1, ultimately we’re going to defer to Dr. Spanier to explain what he meant and intended by that,” Jack Riley, Spanier’s attorney, said. “No. 2, the bottom line to that and every other issue that’s in there is that again had he been apprised of anything dealing with sexual conduct related to Sandusky, it would have been reported.”
Meantime, the news conference ended earlier than planned when a man claiming to have been a victim interrupted the session, also claiming Freeh as FBI director covered up alleged abuse.