Lifestyle & Belief

Graham Spanier, ex-Penn State president, says he was abused as a child


In a letter to the board of trustees, Graham Spanier said there is no way he would have hidden knowledge of child abuse as claims he was also abused as a child.



In a letter to the board of trustees at Penn State University, former school president Graham Spanier said it was unfathomable that he would hide child abuse, as he says he was also abused as a child, CNN reported. 

In part the letter read, "It is unfathomable and illogical to think that a respected family sociologist and family therapist, someone who personally experienced massive and persistent abuse as a child, someone who devoted a significant portion of his career to the welfare of children and youth... would have knowingly turned a blind eye to any report of child abuse or predatory sexual acts directed at children."

Spanier wrote the letter in reaction to his termination following the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and the release of the Freeh report. The report by former FBI director Louis Freeh found that Spanier, along with football coach Joe Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, "repeatedly concealed critical facts" in order to avoid bad publicity.  

Spanier has not been criminally charged in the case. 

In the letter, Spanier said that Freeh and his team reached the wrong conclusion about him even after he spoke to them for five hours about the scandal, the New York Daily News reported. 

Spanier claimed that he was merely copied on two 1998 emails from Schultz to Curley about a 1998 Penn State police investigation into Sandusky. He said he does not recall participating in any conversations about the investigation.

Spanier ended the letter with, “I write you with sincere respect, with a heavy heart for the children who were victimized by Sandusky and with regret for the difficult challenges ahead for this great university.”

More from GlobalPost: Penn State report: Joe Paterno and others "repeatedly concealed critical facts"