Former Penn State President Graham Spanier and former administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz will each see jail time.
Each man was sentenced Friday in Dauphin County Court by specially presiding Judge John Boccabella. All three were convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, a first degree misdemeanor. Curley and Schultz pleaded guilty to the charge before their scheduled trial in March and Spanier was convicted on the charge while being acquitted of a felony child endangerment charge and a conspiracy charge.
Spanier, 69, was sentenced to two months in county jail, followed by two to 10 months of house arrest with electronic monitoring. He also received a fine of $7,500 and 200 hours of community service.
Curley, 63, was sentenced to three months in jail followed by four to 20 months of house arrest. Schultz, 67, received two months in jail followed by three to 21 months of house arrest. Both were fined $5,000 and received 200 hours of community service.
All three are to report for incarceration by July 15.
“These men are good people who made a terrible mistake,” Boccabella said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. That mistake, however, was an inexcusable failure, Boccabella said. “Why no one made a phone call to police … is beyond me.”
Each was charged for their handling of a 2001 report by former Penn State football assistant Mike McQueary of seeing Jerry Sandusky with a boy in a locker room shower. Sandusky, a former Penn State football defensive coordinator and founder of the now-defunct Second Mile charity for at-risk youth, was convicted in 2012 on 45 counts related to child sexual abuse.
Spanier, Curley, the former athletic director, and Schultz, the former senior vice president, have maintained McQueary did not report having witnessed sexual activity. They elected to tell Sandusky not to bring children to the locker room and inform the director of the Second Mile of the incident, but not inform child welfare authorities or law enforcement. Each had initially been charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts, many of which were tossed by state Superior Court in 2016 after a panel of judges ruled former university counsel Cynthia Baldwin’s own grand jury testimony violated their attorney-client privilege, and that she did not explain to them that she was representing the university and not them individually when each testified before the grand jury investigating Sandusky.
Boccabella said that for the three administrators, the obvious decision should have been to call the police. He also questioned why McQueary and Joe Paterno, to whom McQueary first reported the incident and who turned it over to Curley and Schultz, didn’t call the police either.
“Mr. Paterno, the legendary football coach, could have made that phone call without so much as getting his hands dirty,” Boccabell said. “[McQueary] wasn’t a child. He was an adult.”
After pleading, Curley and Schultz testified for the prosecution at Spanier’s trial. Curley struggled to recall details of specific conversations, and both maintained Spanier was not told of anything sexual.
‘I was unimpressed by your testimony,’ Boccabella told Curley, who received the harshest sentence of the three. He added that the athletic department, where the incident occurred, was Curley’s area of oversight and that he found it difficult to believe Curley couldn’t remember the details of the situation.
Though Spanier was the only one of the three not to accept a plea agreement, he ended up with the lightest sentence. Boccabella said that he believed Curley and Schultz did not give him all of the information.
Prior to sentencing, each man expressed remorse, with Spanier saying he was sorry and that he wished ‘that I had been more sensitive to the possibilities of what I heard 16 years ago,’ as reported by PennLive.
In a brief statement, Attorney General Josh Shapiro applauded the sentences.
“Today’s sentencings, which landed all three defendants behind bars, leaves no doubt that there are consequences for failing to protect children in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said.