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Trial of former Penn State president about to get underway

Patriot-News - 3/20/2017

March 20--UPDATE: As of 10:30 a.m., jurors were working to fill out questionnaires, and no activity had yet taken place inside the courtroom.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier has arrived in Dauphin County Court, where his trial is scheduled to begin on charges, first filed about five years ago, that he failed to act to stop sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky.

Spanier faces conspiracy and child endangerment charges. He originally was scheduled to stand trial alongside two co-defendants -- former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and retired Penn State senior vice president Gary Schultz -- until last week when the two pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children.

Their guilty pleas raise the possibility that the two will be called as witnesses against Spanier in the coming trial.

Philly.com reported over the weekend that friends of Spanier said he turned down a plea deal similar to that given Schultz and Curley. The newspaper reported Penn State Trustee Al Lord saying Spanier told him he would "rather go to jail for telling the truth than admit to a lie and say I did something I didn't do."

Philly.com also reported sources close to Spanier say he intends to testify in his own defense.

The proceedings will begin this morning with jury selection. It's not known how long that will take or whether the trial itself will get underway today.

From a governor to janitors: Key players in the Jerry Sandusky scandal

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(c)2017 The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Visit The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) at www.pennlive.com

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