Former Penn State president gets jail time for failing to report Sandusky

Posted June 03, 2017

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier and two other ex-university officials have been sentenced to two months in prison and an additional two months of house arrest for failing report allegations of child sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky. Curley received the harshest sentence with three months in jail and four under house arrest.

Three ex-Penn State officials are getting jail time for failing to report now-convicted sexual predator Jerry Sandusky to authorities.

Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys.

Spanier was given 4 to 12 months in prison - two months in jail and two under house arrest - while Curley received a term of 7 to 23 months, and Schultz 6 to 23 months. He played the washboard at a local bar in town, and spent a night each semester sleeping in freshman dorms.

Sandusky was not arrested until a tip in 2011 led investigators to interview the shower witness.

But Spanier came under criticism for what detractors said was his misperception of the world outside academia and his failure to understand the implications of the Sandusky scandal when it broke. He died in 2012. He served as an assistant coach on Joe Paterno's staff at Penn State from 1969 to 1999.

Prosecutors strongly criticized all three men, particularly Spanier.

Spanier, Schultz and Curley were found guilty of the charges in March, when prosecutors determined they knew of Sandusky molesting boys on Penn State's campus for many years but, along with head football coach Joe Paterno, declined to alert authorities. Paterno, who like the other administrators failed to alert authorities to the 2001 complaint, was never charged with a crime.

Prosecutors Laura Ditka and Patrick Schulte were seeking up to a year in jail for Spanier, arguing he was the one who ultimately decided not to report assistant coach Mike McQueary's 2001 shower-assault claim to child welfare authorities. They also allegedly planned to inform him that his "guests" - children Sandusky brought on campus - would no longer be allowed to use Penn State facilities.

Angela Liddle, president and CEO of Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, which provides training for schools, day care centers and others to recognize and report signs of abuse, said the punishments would not erase the damage to victims.

Jurors were shown emails that the prosecutors said showed the men hatched a plan to keep the matter quiet. Spanier had also been accused of conspiracy, but a jury acquitted him on that charge. Still, his lawyer has indicated he will appeal the verdict, which is likely to delay any jail time.