3 ex-Penn St officials get jail terms in Sandusky abuse case

03 June, 2017, 02:10 | Author: Kristopher Anderson

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier walks from the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa., on March 24.

In court documents unsealed Thursday, prosecutors say state sentencing guidelines indicate that Spanier should receive up to a year in jail for child endangerment. But Spanier, Curley and Schultz didn't report Sandusky to child welfare authorities or police. Laura Ditka, a prosecutor in the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office, said Spanier chose to "protect his reputation and the reputation of his friends and the reputation of the university above the well-being of some innocent children", calling that decision inexcusable.

Prosecutors had been seeking nine to 18 months of jail for Spanier, while defense attorneys had asked for probation and community service, citing his advanced age and health issues that include prostate cancer and imminent open-heart surgery. Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence for abusing 10 boys but is appealing.

Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte also pointed a finger at Paterno for the cover-up itself, saying the trio of administrators had meant to report Sandusky to child welfare officials until they met with Paterno after the shower incident.

Prosecutors said his lack of remorse for Sandusky's victims is telling. A Pennsylvania judge past year ruled that McQueary qualified as a whistleblower under state law and awarded him a total of $12 million from Penn State.

After the incident, Spanier and other Penn State officials developed a plan to bar Sandusky from bringing other children to the campus and to inform officials at Sandusky's charity for at-risk children.

Boccabella, who said he was picked for the case because he had no Penn State connections, said incarceration was a necessary deterrent to prevent others from making the same mistake of failing to report suspected abuse.

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But Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz didn't report him to child welfare authorities or police. Prosecutors said that after McQueary recounted what he saw, the three administrators decided not to report it to authorities to protect the university's reputation.

The sentencing ends the last criminal case in the Sandusky scandal, which broke in 2011 and led to the firing of Paterno.

Curley and Schultz have said that McQueary never told them he had witnessed a sex crime and that McQueary had reported seeing Sandusky engaged only in "horseplay" with the child.

Penn State has paid out almost a quarter-billion dollars in fines, settlements and other costs associated with the scandal, and the football program suffered heavy NCAA sanctions.

McQueary testified about how he went to Paterno a day after the shower encounter to discuss what he had seen.

"I pleaded guilty because I felt like I should have done more", Curley said.

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