Ex-Penn State President Guilty in Sandusky Scandal

Graham Spanier convicted of child endangerment
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 24, 2017 4:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was convicted Friday of hushing up suspected child sex abuse in 2001 by Jerry Sandusky, whose arrest a decade later blew up into a major scandal for the university and led to the firing of beloved football coach Joe Paterno. Jurors found Spanier guilty of one count of child endangerment over his handling of a complaint against the retired assistant football coach but found him not guilty of conspiracy and a second child endangerment count, the AP reports. Spanier showed no emotion when the verdict was read after 13 hours of deliberations. The trial centered on how Spanier, 68, and two other university leaders handled a complaint by then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who reported seeing Sandusky sexually molesting a boy in a team shower in 2001. They told Sandusky he could not bring children onto the campus anymore but did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities.

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Sandusky was not arrested until 2011 after an anonymous tip led prosecutors to investigate the shower incident. He was convicted the next year of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving a decades-long prison sentence. Four of the eight young men testifying at Sandusky's trial said they were abused after 2001. "Evil in the form of Jerry Sandusky was allowed to run wild," Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte told the jury. Two of Spanier's former lieutenants, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment charges a week ago and testified against Spanier. But all three denied they were told the encounter in the shower was sexual in nature. Schultz and Curley testified they never told Spanier that the incident reported in the shower was sexual, rather calling it "horseplay." But McQueary contradicted them, testifying he did say it was sexual. (Read more Penn State sex abuse stories.)

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