Former Penn State President Graham Spanier prepares his defense (if needed)

by Travis Normand

While no criminal charges have been filed against former Penn State President Graham Spanier, he is not sitting on the sidelines waiting to act. 

On 23 July 2012, Spanier sent a letter to the Penn State Board of Trustees that stated he would not have turned a “blind eye” to Jerry Sandusky’s victims as he himself was a victim of child abuse.  Spanier’s letter stated:

“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.”

Also, Spanier and his attorney told the Associated Press that [emphasis added]:

. . . Spanier insisted Monday that he wouldn’t have ignored child sexual-abuse complaints as the school’s top administrator because he was beaten repeatedly as a child by his father, his lawyer told The Associated Press.

Spanier received regular “disciplinary beatings” by his father as a teen, and had to have his nose straightened several times, lawyer Peter Vaira said. The abuse was never sexual, Vaira said.

Upon reading the above message to the Associated Press, my first thought was “wouldn’t there be some kind of medical record?” I wouldn’t think you could get your nose straightened several times without there being some kind of record. Of course, then again, it probably happened so long ago that any records have long since been destroyed.

Even still, if I was Spanier, I would be trying to find some kind of record or medical expert opinion that could show at least some evidence of my nose being straightened. If nothing else, I would find something that helped add credibility to my claims of abuse.  As I can see anyone (especially a jury) being at least a little skeptical of such accusations.

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