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Former Penn State President Graham Spanier will start prison sentence on July 9, judge rules


Graham Spanier, the former Pennsylvania State University president convicted of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child in connection to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, will start his two-month prison sentence on July 9, according to court records and the state attorney general’s office.

Spanier, 72, along with two other administrators, failed to report an allegation from 2001 that Sandusky, by then a former assistant football coach who still had access to campus, was molesting boys, a jury found in 2017.

Spanier, who was PSU president from 1995 to 2011, was acquitted of more serious charges including criminal conspiracy and a felony count of child endangerment.

Spanier also will serve two months of house arrest and 200 hours of community service after the two-month prison term, according to Molly Stieber, spokesperson for state Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

If a judge does not add more prison or house arrest time to his sentence, Spanier will serve a two-year probation term, she said.

Sam Silver, an attorney for Spanier, said the decision is “callous of the Commonwealth.”

“It is disturbing that during this global health crisis, the Pennsylvania Attorney General has insisted that a 72-year-old who has serious health conditions should enter a correctional facility for any term of confinement for a conviction on a single, non-violent misdemeanor,” Silver said in an email statement to CNN. “It is blind to reality and callous of the Commonwealth.”

A spokesperson for Penn State did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sex abuse in 2012 and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. The abuse allegations date as far back as 1994 to The Second Mile, a group foster home and charity Sandusky founded in 1977. He has since maintained his innocence.

“Today marks the end of a long road towards justice for the children endangered by Mr. Spanier’s inaction — choosing to cover up the abuse at the hands of Jerry Sandusky rather than reporting it to law enforcement,” Shapiro said Wednesday in a prepared statement after the judge’s order.

“No one is above the law, and my office will continue to pursue anyone who looks the other way in the face of child sexual abuse. There are consequences for failing to protect children in Pennsylvania.”

Article Topic Follows: National/World

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