Former Penn State pres. plans to file defamation suit against Louis Freeh

By Jon Campisi | Jul 15, 2013

Attorneys for former Pennsylvania State University President Graham Spanier have filed

court papers in Centre County signaling pending litigation against Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and FBI director who had been tapped by the school to conduct an internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

Elizabeth K. Ainslie, a lawyer with the Philadelphia firm of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, filed what is known as a writ of summons July 11 at the Centre County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of Spanier, who is facing criminal charges stemming from his tenure as president of Penn State during the time of the child molestation scandal involving Sandusky, the former assistant football coach serving a 30-to-60-year state prison sentence for sexually abusing young boys.

The writ of summons was sent to Freeh, as well as the law firm at which he is employed, Pepper Hamilton, and Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan, the now defunct firm that has since merged with Pepper Hamilton.

The three are expected to be named defendants in what appears to be a pending slander/libel/defamation suit.

Because the filing came in the form of a writ, and did not contain an official complaint, the specifics of the pending case were not immediately known

The suit, however, is likely to revolve around the report released by Freeh and his team last summer that determined Penn State officials likely concealed information relating to Sandusky’s heinous crimes.

Spanier, along with former university Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Timothy Curley, are facing conspiracy, obstruction of justice, child endangerment and perjury charges for their alleged failure to report the acts of sex-abuse perpetrated by Sandusky.

In related news, the Patriot News of Harrisburg reported Friday that Penn State trustees unanimously voted to make settlement offers to a bulk of the 30 or so men who claim to have been sexually molested by Sandusky.

While no settlements have been officially finalized, last week’s move was viewed as a step in the right direction by those representing victims.

Philadelphia lawyer Thomas Kline told the Patriot News that the trustees’ vote was “one more positive step … toward settlement of the civil claims.”

Kline went on to state that he expects “further progress in the weeks ahead.”

Various lawsuits had been filed in the wake of the Sandusky sex-abuse scandal.

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