PHILADELPHIA -- Graham Spanier says he wouldn't have ignored child sexual-abuse complaints as Penn State's president because he was beaten repeatedly as a child.

Spanier's lawyer, Peter Vaira, tells The Associated Press that Spanier received regular "disciplinary beatings" by his father, and had to have his nose straightened several times. Vaira says the abuse was never sexual.

Spanier sent a letter to Penn State University's board of trustees saying he would not have turned a blind eye to the victims of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach, because of his own abuse history.

The letter was first reported Monday by The Patriot-News.

A recent internal report on the Sandusky scandal blasted Spanier, former coach Joe Paterno and others for failing to report the abuse complaints to authorities.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • Initial Arrest

    Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, 67, is charged with more than 50 counts of child sex-abuse involving 10 boys he met through The Second Mile, a children's charity he founded. The accusations of abuse span from 1994 to 2006. He was initially arrested on Nov. 5, 2011. A grand jury had begun investigating Sandusky in 2010. He would be arrested a second time in December.

  • Gary Schultz, Tim Curley Charged With Lying To Grand Jury

    On Nov. 7, 2011, Gary Schultz, the vice president of Penn State, left, and the school's athletic director, Tim Curley, right, are brought up on charges for lying to a grand jury about what they knew of Sandusky's criminal actions and failing to properly <a href="" target="_hplink">report suspected child abuse</a>. The day before, they both left their positions at the school after school officials held an emergency meeting to discuss the sex abuse scandal.

  • Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier Fired

    Joe Paterno, Penn State's then-beloved Hall of Fame head football coach, is fired four days after Sandusky's arrest and mere hours after he announced his retirement would occur at the end of his 46th season that year. Penn State's Board of <a href="" target="_hplink">Trustees fired Paterno and Graham Spanier</a>, the university's president, on Nov. 9, 2011 due to the growing outrage over Sandusky's sexual crimes.

  • Penn State Students Swarm The Streets

    Penn Staters took to the streets by the thousands in outrage over JoePa's firing. They <a href="" target="_hplink">toppled a news truck of a local TV station</a> in anger over how they felt the media was handling the scandal.

  • McQueary Placed On Administrative Leave, Receives Death Threats

    Penn State's assistant coach Mike McQueary testified to the grand jury in December 2010 that he saw Sandusky sodomize a naked boy of about 10 years old in the football team's locker room shower in 2001 [though the documents were allowed to be altered, he initially alleges this incident occurred in 2002]. The grand jury found his testimony to be more credible than the testimonies of both Curley and Schultz, who as a result of his testimony, were brought up on perjury charges. On Nov. 11, 2011, <a href="" target="_hplink">Penn State placed McQueary on administrative leave</a>, a day after the school said a number of threats had been made against the assistant coach. While on leave, McQueary would later change his story in emails to friends, saying that he had stopped Sandusky from abusing the boy when he saw it and that he had also reported the abuse to police. The local and campus police denied his statements.

  • The Second Mile Breaks Down

    On Nov. 13, <a href="" target="_hplink">The Second Mile, the charity organization for troubled boys Sandusky began</a> and also where he found nearly all of his sexual abuse victims saw its President and CEO, Jack Raykovitz, retire after serving 27 years in that role. On, May 25, 2012, the sex abuse scandal left the charity in a failing financial situation. Second Mile officials began seeking court approval to shut down its programs and transfer to a Texas-based youth ministry dedicated to helping abused and neglected children.

  • Jerry Sandusky's Phone Interview With Bob Costas

    NBC News anchor Brian Williams, left, talks with Bob Costas about <a href="" target="_hplink">Costas' interview with Jerry Sandusky</a> during NBC News' "Rock Center With Brian Williams" on Nov. 14, 2011. Sandusky's interview drew further outrage and skepticism from the public in response to his answer to Costas question of whether he was sexually attracted to underage boys. Sandusky's answer was, after a pause, "I enjoy young people. I love to be around them, but no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys." The interview was originally between Costas and an attorney for Sandusky, but Sandusky abruptly called in and participated in the interview by phone.

  • Sandusky Sued Over Abusing Young Boy 'Over 100 Times'

    On Nov. 30, 2011, civil charges are brought against Jerry Sandusky, The Second Mile and Penn State from a victim, known at the time as John Doe (now known as Travis Weaver), 29, claiming he was <a href="" target="_hplink">sexually abused by Sandusky over 100 times from the age of 10 to 14</a>. He also said that Sandusky threatened his family to prevent him from speaking out about the abuse. His attorney Jeff Anderson (pictured) addresses the media during a news conference that same day in Philadelphia, saying he believed Sandusky could not control his sexual impulses toward children and harshly criticized officials who failed to report their suspicions.

  • Paterno Gives Final Interview

    Before dying of lung cancer in January, <a href="" target="_hplink">Paterno gave his final interview</a> on Jan. 14 with the Washington Post's Sally Jenkins. She asked JoePa about Sandusky: <blockquote>He maintains his innocence. If Sandusky is guilty, "I'm sick about it," Paterno said. How Sandusky, 67, allegedly evaded detection by state child services, university administrators, teachers, parents, donors and Paterno himself remains an open question. "I wish I knew," Paterno said. "I don't know the answer to that. It's hard." Almost as difficult for Paterno to answer is the question of why, after receiving a report in 2002 that Sandusky had abused a boy in the shower of Penn State's Lasch Football Building, and forwarding it to his superiors, he didn't follow up more aggressively. "I didn't know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was," he said. "So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't work out that way."</blockquote>

  • Paterno Dies: Students, Family Mourn Loss

    At age 85, <a href="" target="_hplink">JoePa dies of lung cancer</a> surrounded by family on Sunday, Jan. 22 in a State College, Pa. hospital.

  • Sandusky Is Convicted Pedophile

    A jury <a href="" target="_hplink"> convicts Jerry Sandusky</a> of 45 counts of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years on June 22. He will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, though Sandusky said he plans to appeal.

  • Matt Sandusky Claims Father Abused Him

    Matt Sandusky, right, adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, releases a statement saying <a href="" target="_hplink">his father sexually abused him</a> as an 8-year-old boy. Matt Sandusky makes the announcement on the same day Jerry is convicted by a jury of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 others boys.

  • Freeh Report Releases To Public

    Former FBI director Louis Freeh releases a report on July 12 of his investigation into "who knew what, when" in the Penn State scandal. Freeh's investigation reveals top Penn State officials, including Spanier and Paterno, as well as coaches, janitors, psychologists and campus police were aware of the allegations against Sandusky. All failed to take action. Emails and documents showed discussions over what to do about Sandusky, eventually deciding not to report or confront him. Freeh said the most "saddening and sobering" finding from his group's report into the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal is <a href="" target="_hplink">Penn State senior leaders' "total disregard" for the safety and welfare of the ex-coach's child victims</a>.

  • Three New Accusers Allege Sandusky Abused Them

    On July 16, media outlets reported that <a href="" target="_hplink">three new victims allege that Sandusky sexually abused them in the '70s and '80s</a>. They are the only alleged victims to claim Sandusky committed criminal sexual acts prior to 1994. Louis Freeh said in a press conference July 12 that his team investigated Sandusky's actions in the '70s and '80s but found nothing of substantial importance during those decades relating to Sandusky's pedophilia.

  • Paterno Family, Spanier Reject Freeh Findings

    In the days after the Freeh Report's release,<a href="" target="_hplink"> Paterno's family and Graham Spanier have issued statements rejecting</a> the Freeh investigation's findings. The Paterno family has announced it will launch its own investigation of sex abuse scandal and Penn State officials handling of the matter. Spanier, left, has also <a href="" target="_hplink">filed a civil lawsuit against Penn State</a> for not releasing his old emails so he could prepare for the Freeh investigation.