Saturday, July 13, 2013

Former Penn State President Goes After Louis Freeh

Penn State's former president Graham Spanier has initiated a libel and defamation suit against Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who a year ago produced a report for the school that was highly critical of Spanier's role in the child sex abuse scandal involving longtime assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, reported the Associated Press.

Paperwork filed in Centre County, where the school is located, disclosed little about the nature of his claims but checked off a box on a court system form that described the case as "slander/libel/defamation."

The filing was made one day before the one-year anniversary of Freeh's report, which concluded that Spanier, late coach Joe Paterno and other high-ranking Penn State administrators failed to protect children against Sandusky. Under Pennsylvania law, those who believe they have been libeled or defamed have a year to initiate a civil lawsuit.

Calls and emails seeking comment from Freeh and from Spanier lawyer Elizabeth Ainslie were not returned. Along with Freeh, the paperwork also names as a defendant the law firm where Freeh works.

The Freeh report said Spanier told Freeh's investigators that he never heard anyone say Sandusky was sexually abusing children. But Freeh wrote it was more reasonable to conclude that Spanier, Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz "repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities, the university's board of trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large."

a district judge in the Harrisburg suburbs announced the preliminary hearing would be held for Spanier on July 29 in the county courthouse. The hearing will determine if there are grounds to forward the case to county court for trial.

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