Former Pennsylvania State University President Graham Spanier received a minimum sentence of two months in jail, followed by two months of house arrest, on Friday after failing to report a 2001 allegation that the university’s ex-assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, had sexually abused a young boy. Despite his refusal to plead guilty, Spanier was convicted of child endangerment, a misdemeanor, on March 24. The maximum sentence he could serve is 12 months.
Spanier’s colleagues, former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz, received the same conviction on Friday after accepting a plea deal on March 13. Both Schultz and Curley could serve a maximum sentence of 23 months, with Schultz serving at least two months in jail and Curley serving at least three. Like Spanier, both men could serve an additional sentence on house arrest. Curley and Schultz also owe the court $5,000, while Spanier was charged with a $7,500 fine.
Their sentencing marks the end of a lengthy court process, beginning in 2012 when an external investigation concluded that the three administrators had concealed Sandusky’s abuse from authorities, the Penn State Board of Trustees, and the university community. Spanier’s trial in particular centered on testimony from Mike McQueary, a former coaching assistant, who claimed he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in a football team shower in 2001, and later reported the incident to the university’s former head football coach, Joe Paterno. Notes and email exchanges have since revealed that Curley, Spanier, and Schultz debated what to do with McQueary’s information, but opted to keep it hidden. For his part, Spanier claimed he did not know the allegations were sexual in nature.