Former Penn State president Graham Spanier and two more former administrators are finally paying the price for their in the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal, although the price is lower than prosectors and many others hoped. Spanier, who was fired in November 2011 for his handling of the scandal, will spend at least two months in jail and two more on house arrest. He must also pay a $7,500 fine and complete a 200-hour community service requirement.
Spanier had been convicted in a March jury trial of misdemeanor child endangerment for brushing a 2001 allegation about Sandusky’s abuse under the rug. However, the jury acquitted him of an additional endangerment charge and felony conspiracy.
Along with Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley received sentences. Schultz will serve at least two months in jail and four under house arrest. Curley received the harshest sentence with three months in jail and four under house arrest. Both men also received a $5,000 fine and the same 200 hours of community service.
— Matt Maisel (@Matt_Maisel) June 2, 2017
Here is what Judge John Boccabella said of the three offenders, from Philly.com:
“These men are good people who made a terrible mistake,” the judge said. But he also chided the three for what he said was an inexcusable failure. “Why no one made a phone call to police … is beyond me.”
Here’s more from Boccabella, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:
“Why Mr. Sandusky was allowed to continue to the Penn State facilities is beyond me,” Judge John Boccabella said.
“All three ignored the opportunity to put an end to (Sandusky’s) crimes when they had a chance to do so,” the judge said.
Spanier’s lawyer already said he will appeal the verdict, but the former school president still apologized for his actions (or lack thereof) at the sentencing, via Philly.com:
In a statement he read to the judge, Spanier apologized to the victims, the Penn State community, and others impacted by his actions. “I deeply regret I didn’t intervene more forcefully,” he said, in a nod to Sandusky’s victims.
Boccabella said he was not convinced that Spanier was “totally responsible” for the failure to report Sandusky to authorities, noting that he relied on the judgement of his aides. Still, he told Spanier: “This is a Shakespearean tragedy. It is a fall from grace that is unfortunate yet well deserved.”