Former aides to testify against Penn State ex-president

After more than 12 hours of deliberations, a jury in Dauphin County (Pa.) this afternoon found former Penn State president Graham Spanier guilty on a single count of child endangerment, a misdemeanor.

In a two-page statement, Freeh piled on Spanier and the other freshly-convicted former Penn State administrators and late head football Coach Joe Paterno, claimed complete vindication of his findings and, far from stopping there, called for current President Eric Barron to resign.

Former Penn State University President Graham Spanier was convicted of endangering children by failing to report suspicions that former Nittany Lion Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been preying on young boys.

"The plan resulted in a sea of carnage", said prosecutor Laura Ditka, whose witnesses included a 28-year-old Sandusky victim who testified he was assaulted in the same showers the year after McQueary's report.

Ditka said during closing arguments that the three university leaders wanted to protect the university's reputation at the expense of children.

Schultz and Curley testified they never told Spanier that the incident reported in the shower was sexual. He resigned when the Sandusky scandal broke and was later implicated in covering up a 2001 incident that prosecutors said could have prevented future abuse if reported.

Spanier was among the several Penn State administrators harshly criticized in a 2012 report by investigators who reviewed the university's actions surrounding the accusations against Sandusky.

Spanier's lawyer, Samuel Silver, said he would appeal.

"There are zero excuses when it comes to failing to report the abuse of children to authorities", he said.

Penn State commissioned a report - known as the Freeh report for its chief author, Louis Freeh, a former FBI director and federal judge - on the university's role in the Sandusky crimes. A year later, the university agreed to pay almost $60 million to settle potential legal claims from more than two dozen other victims.

Glynn, a retired investment manager from NY, said earlier in the day that no matter the verdict, his faith in Spanier would not be shaken.

Frankly, given what happened at Penn State under his watch, Spanier was lucky to get away with just one count of child endangerment.

Penn State addressed Spanier's conviction and the guilty pleas by Curley and Schultz in a statement Friday night. He is free on bail until sentencing later this year.

"They took a gamble", she told the jurors. They first chose to report the 2001 incident to child-welfare authorities, but then changed that plan.

Defense attorneys argued that Spanier was never told the witnessed conduct was sexual or criminal in nature, and that it was wrong for authorities to criminalize an instance of bad judgment.

  • Julie Sanders