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Spanier Requests Stay in Defamation Lawsuit Against Freeh

Graham Spanier is asking the courts to delay his defamation lawsuit against Louis Freeh until the criminal case against the former Penn State president is finished.

Spanier’s attorney, Elizabeth Ainslie, writes in legal documents filed Monday that Spanier would be “greatly prejudiced” if the civil suit were to continue at the same time of the criminal proceedings.

Spanier claims that Louis Freeh made numerous baseless and derogatory remarks in his report which states that Spanier, “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities [PSU’s] Board of Trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large.” Spanier’s attorneys say those allegations are both false and defamatory.

Spanier is seeking monetary damages. Spanier is also asking for a jury trial in his civil case.

Ainslie writes that there might be overlap in witnesses called in the civil and criminal proceedings, and some might refuse to testify by pleading the Fifth Amendment. Ainslie argues that could adversely affect the ability to properly litigate Spanier’s claims.

Spanier is charged with perjury, endangering the welfare of children, failure to report, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice for  allegedly concealing reports about Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse. Two other administrators — former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz — are also charged with the same offenses.

A trial date has not been set but the case is expected to go to court sometime next year. All three men maintain their innocence.

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