CDT file photos
CDT file photos

Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Former Penn State admins sentenced to jail for child endangerment in Sandusky scandal

By Jeremy Hartley

jhartley@centredaily.com

June 02, 2017 1:25 PM

HARRISBURG

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley were sentenced Friday for child endangerment.

Spanier was convicted March 24 of the misdemeanor charge in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Curley and Schultz pleaded guilty March 3 and testified against Spanier.

Spanier faces the least amount of time with a sentence totaling four months to a year. Berks County Senior Judge John Boccabella, who presided over Spanier’s trial, split the sentence between two months of incarceration with the remainder to be served under house arrest.

He will also serve two years probation and was sentenced to a $7,500 fine, the costs of prosecution and 200 hours of community service.

Curley received the highest sentence, Boccabella ruled, with seven to 23 months followed by two years probation. The sentence was split into three months incarceration with the remainder under house arrest. Curley must also pay the costs of prosecution, a $5,000 fine and was given 200 hours of community service.

Schultz received a similar sentence as Curley, with six to 23 months followed by two years probation. Schultz will serve two months in jail with the remainder under house arrest. He must pay the costs of prosecution, a $5,000 fine and was given 200 hours of community service.

Charges against the former administrators stemmed from 2011 testimony by each man to the grand jury that recommended charges against Sandusky. The former defensive coordinator was convicted on 45 of the 48 counts of various child sex abuse charges in 2012.

The three former administrators oversaw a 2001 complaint by then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who said he witnessed Sandusky sexually abuse a boy in the Lasch Building shower. The administrators did not report the incident to authorities.

Charges originally also included perjury, obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

Prosecutors for the state Attorney General’s Office argued at the beginning of the hearing that in one character letter received, the author recounted that in an instance when an individual was caught stealing money from Penn State, administrators were on the phone with police in a minute.

“Why was this not the same care and action when the innocence of children was being stolen by Jerry Sandusky?” Deputy Attorney General Laura Ditka asked.

More than 10 individuals came to speak on behalf of the three men, including spouses, family, friends and business associates. Many described the closeness they had with their respective administrator, using words like “selfless,” “compassionate” and “caring.” Former Navy Criminal Investigative Service agents spoke on Spanier’s behalf recounting his role in classified research and development at Penn State and his contributions to the security of the U.S.

When given the opportunity to speak, Schultz cried as he apologized to the victims of the abuse and said he was sorry he didn’t do more. He said he was accountable for what he did and was prepared to suffer for it.

Curley also gave a tearful statement, saying he deeply regretted his inaction and pleaded guilty because he felt he should have done more. He too apologized to the victims and those who were impacted by the scandal.

Spanier apologized for the pain, frustration and turmoil he’s caused the people involved in the case, including the victims, those in the Penn State community and beyond.

“Whatever I do for the rest of my life, ... will be impacted by my experience in this courtroom and the jury’s decision,” he said.

Boccabella made several comments prior to sentencing, saying the case had “languished” in litigation for six years and will become an example of how not to file a criminal prosecution.

Why no one called the police or filed a claim with the Department of Public Welfare, he said, was beyond him, saying he was “appalled that the common sense to make a phone call or make a report didn’t occur.”

Boccabella called out several individuals who testified or were involved in the case for their apparent inaction, including Joe Paterno, Mike McQueary and Dr. Jonathan Dranov. He also questioned Curley’s apparent lack of memory when testifying, saying he found it hard to believe he “didn’t remember every detail of the most serious mistake you ever made.”

Boccabella acknowledged the difference between “a criminal” and “a person who made a mistake,” saying the former administrators were “good people who made a terrible mistake.”

Attorneys for the former administrators declined comment.

Former Penn State administrators 'turned their backs' on child sex abuse, AG says

Pa. AG Josh Shapiro spoke following the Graham Spanier verdict in Harrisburg. Spanier, Penn State's former president, was found guilty of misdemeanor child endangerment and not guilty of conspiracy. Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice-president Gary Schultz pleaded guilty to child endangerment.

Jeremy Hartley jhartley@centredaily.com

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