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Former Penn State President Graham Spanier Released From Jail

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier has been released from jail after serving time for his conviction on a misdemeanor child endangerment charge in connection with the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case.

Spanier was released from the Centre County Correctional Facility by court order on Wednesday morning, Warden Christopher Schell confirmed. After reporting on June 7, Spanier served 58 days of the 60-day sentence.

During his time at the jail, Spanier was granted work release, Schell said. Spanier was convicted in Dauphin County, but his sentence was transferred to Centre County.

The sentence now calls for Spanier to serve two months of home confinement. Specially presiding Judge John Bocabella also ordered Spanier to complete 200 hours of community service.

Spanier was first charged in 2012 and was convicted in 2017 on one 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, more than a decade before Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Most of the charges against Spanier were dropped or dismissed through years of court battles leading up to his trial. He also 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.

In 2019, a day before Spanier was scheduled to begin serving his jail sentence, a federal district court found the conviction to be unconstitutional. In December, however, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the conviction, ruling that the lower court erred in tossing that conviction on the grounds that Spanier’s due process rights were violated.

Spanier has maintained former Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz only described horseplay in relaying the report made by then-graduate assistant football 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 in November 2011, when Sandusky was charged with child sexual abuse following a grand jury investigation.

Sandusky was convicted in June 2012 and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison. He maintains his innocence and his most recent appeal to overturn his convictions was denied in May.

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.

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About the Author

Geoff Rushton (StateCollege.com)

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.

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