By Harry Allison
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, who was forced out as the school’s top administrator when Jerry Sandusky was arrested a decade ago, has been ordered to jail in July after a judge upheld a sentence issued four years ago.
The judge ordered Spanier to begin serving at least two months at the county jail several miles from the Penn State campus on July 9 — followed by two months of house arrest on electronic monitoring — for a single misdemeanor conviction of endangering the welfare of children.
Spanier was charged in 2012 and convicted by a jury in March 2017 but appeals had allowed him to stay out of jail.
He was convicted for his actions in response to reports from his aides that a graduate assistant football coach had complained of being greatly disturbed by coming across Sandusky showering alone with a boy in a team locker room in 2001.
“He made a mistake and he’s going to pay for his mistake, but I don’t consider him to be a danger to society as I would a criminal,” Judge John Boccabella said yesterday in Harrisburg.
Spanier has said the abuse of the boy was characterized to him as horseplay. He and other top administrators did not notify police, and Spanier wrote in an email at the time that “the only downside for us is if the message isn’t ‘heard’ and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it.”