Former Penn State president is sentenced to jail in Sandusky scandal

Criminal Justice

Graham Spanier

Former Penn State University president Graham Spanier in 2010. Richard Paul Kane /


Former Penn State president Graham Spanier and two other onetime university officials were sentenced to jail time on Friday for their inadequate response to a locker room shower incident involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Judge John Boccabella called the case against Spanier, 68, “a Shakespearean tragedy” and questioned why none of the defendants called police, report the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and in stories here and here.

Prosecutors said Sandusky went on to sexually abuse other youths after Spanier failed to tell police about a report that Sandusky had molested a boy in a locker room shower in 2001. After the incident, Spanier and other Penn State officials developed a plan to bar Sandusky from bringing other children to the campus and to inform officials at Sandusky’s charity for at-risk children.

“Why no one made a phone call to the police … is beyond me,” Boccabella said. “Why Mr. Sandusky was allowed to continue to use the Penn State facilities is beyond me.”

Spanier was convicted in March on a misdemeanor child endangerment charge but acquitted of felony endangerment and conspiracy. Spanier’s lawyers had argued their client didn’t realize Sandusky’s interaction with the boy was sexual in nature.

Boccabella sentenced Spanier to four to 12 months’ confinement, with at least two months served in jail and the rest in home confinement. He also ordered Spanier to pay a $7,500 fine.

Boccabella also sentenced two other university officials who had pleaded guilty and testified against Spanier. Former vice president Tim Curley was sentenced to seven to 23 months’ confinement, with at least three months in jail, and fined $5,000. Former athletic director Gary Schultz was sentenced to six to 23 months’ confinement, with at least two months in jail, and fined $5,000.

In addition, Spanier, Curley and Schultz each received two years’ probation.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 on 45 of 48 counts for sexually abusing 10 boys. He is serving 30 to 60 years in prison.

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