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Prosecutors Ask Judge to Order Spanier to Begin Jail Sentence

Prosecutors from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office have asked a judge to order former Penn State President Graham Spanier to begin serving a two-month county jail sentence for his conviction on a child endangerment charge, according to the Associated Press.

In a filing with specially presiding Judge John Boccabella on Monday, Senior Deputy Attorney General Patrick Schulte wrote that there is no legal barrier to enforcing the sentence, which is to be followed by two months of home confinement, the AP reported.

A federal appeals court in December reinstated Spanier’s 2017 conviction on the misdemeanor count stemming from his handling of a 2001 report about former assistant football coach and Second Mile charity founder Jerry Sandusky with a boy in a campus locker room shower.

Spanier’s attorney, Sam Silver, asked Boccabella on Friday to alter the sentence to house arrest with electronic monitoring, noting that the 72-year-old had heart surgery in 2019 and has advanced prostate cancer.

Schulte, the AP reported, wrote that he would support work release with medical furloughs and that Boccabella could set Spanier’s jail reporting date for a later date when the risk of COVID-19 would be lower.

Spanier has maintained former Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz only described horseplay in relaying the report made by then assistant coach Mike McQueary. They agreed to report the incident to Sandusky’s charity for at-risk youth, where prosecutors said he found most of his victims, and instruct him not to bring children to campus facilities. They did not take the matter to law enforcement of child welfare officials.

Spanier was forced out as Penn State president after the incident came to light in November 2011, when Sandusky was charged with counts of child sexual abuse.

Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts in June 2012 and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison. He maintains his innocence and is still continuing appeal efforts.

Spanier was charged in 2012 for his handling of the report and after years of court battles went to trial in March 2017. Though convicted on one misdemeanor count, he was found not guilty on a felony charge of endangering the welfare of a child, which alleged a ‘course of conduct’ for not reporting Sandusky, and a felony conspiracy charge.

Curley and Schultz both pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment charges in 2017. They each served short jail sentences later that year in Centre County.