Former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s attorneys did not call on any witnesses Thursday morning to counter accusations that he acted illegally as a high-ranking university administrator in handling accusations about Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy. This means Spanier’s attorneys are confident lack of evidence speaks for itself — it also means jurors will soon come to a decision.
“Frankly, there was no evidence of a crime by Graham Spanier,” attorney Sam Silver said as reported by The Morning Call. “Every single witness that took the stand said ‘no crime that I know of.”
Spanier faces two counts of endangering the welfare of children and a conspiracy count. These could each result in a seven-year prison sentence. Tim Curley and Gary Schultz reached plea agreements for their part in the scandal and it’s unlikely they’ll see jail time. Both plead guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment.
Silver argued that all three made judgement calls that were not criminal. “They did not engage in crimes. They did not enter in a conspiracy,” he said. “Not a single witness said that [the administrators]did not do anything… They took the matters seriously.”
Regarding the conspiracy charge, Silver argued too many people (12) knew of the situation at the time. “That’s a heck of a way to pull off criminal conspiracy,” he said.
Prosecutor Laura Ditka countered by pointing out the usage of “we” and “our” in emails, suggesting a group conspiracy was evident. She also noted Spanier’s background as a reason he was capable of handling the situation better.
“For God’s sake, he’s a family and child therapist,” She said. “They knew what to do.”