Friday, March 24, 2017

Former Penn State president guilty in Sandusky abuse case

    Graham B. Spanier, the former Penn State president, walking to courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa.,
    on Friday.
  Credit Matt Rourke/Associated Press


















Jess Bidgood reports for The New York Times:

A jury in Harrisburg, Pa., on Friday delivered a split
verdict in the trial of the former president of
Penn State, convicting him of child endangerment for his handling
of a sex abuse complaint involving an assistant football coach, but acquitting him of a charge of conspiracy and
a second endangerment count.

The former president, Graham B. Spanier, showed no emotion while the verdict was read, according to media reports. Jurors deliberated about 13 hours.

The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison
and a $10,000 fine, but prosecutors declined to say
whether they would seek jail time. Mr. Spanier’s lawyer
told The Associated Press that he would appeal.

The coach, Jerry Sandusky, was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 young boys whom, prosecutors
said, he met through his charity work and drew in with
gifts or trips to football games. He was sentenced to
30 to 60 years in prison.

The revelation of the abuse — and its extent — shocked
the State College, Pa., community and upended a
university that has long revered its football program.

The fallout was swift and far-reaching, touching both
the football program and the administration. The Penn
State coach, Joe Paterno, an icon on campus and the
most victorious coach in major college football,
was forced to resign. Much of his coaching staff was dismissed.

Mr. Spanier, once a well-liked leader who oversaw a 
period of expansion, was among the several officials
harshly criticized by investigators who reviewed the university’s actions in a 2012 report. He has challenged
its findings.

He was charged along with two other former
administrators. the athletic director, Tim Curley, and 
a vice president, Gary Schultz. Both men made 
last-minute plea deals and testified for the prosecution.

In 2013, Penn State agreed to pay $59.7 million 
to 26 sexual abuse victims in exchange for an end
to their claims against the university.

The scandal was one in a series of recent cases 
sending a message that campus crimes — particularly
sex crimes — cannot be kept as quiet, or treated as
lightly, as they once were. Administrators have been
fired from several colleges and universities that failed
to report 
assaults or treat them seriously, including
Ken Starr, 
who was removed last year as president
of Baylor
University. 

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