Graham Spanier, former president at Penn State University, lost an appeal of his misdemeanor conviction for child endangerment over his handling of a 2001 complaint about Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy in the football team locker room.
Sandusky was a long-time Penn State football assistant who is serving a 30-to-60-year sentence for 45-count child sexual abuse conviction.
A Superior Court in Harrisburg, Pa., rejected Spanier’s claims that too much time had passed to charge him, that he was not legally obligated to care for the boy and should not have been charged because he did not supervise children directly.
“To hold that (he) was not supervising a child’s welfare when he oversaw PSU’s response to the Sandusky allegations, or to hold that he owed no duty of care in his exercise of that supervisory authority, would plainly not effectuate the purpose of sheltering children from harm,” wrote Judge Victor Stabile, joined by one other jurist in the 2-1 decision.
Spanier’s lawyers said he “plans to pursue his appellate options” in hopes of vindication.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office prosecuted Spanier, said his office was gratified by the decision.
“We will continue to pursue anyone who looks the other way in the face of child sexual abuse,” Shapiro said.
Spanier, 69, has been free on bail while appealing, so he has not served his sentence of two months in jail followed by two months of house arrest.
Penn State has said Spanier is a tenured faculty member on administrative leave. His separation agreement as president paid him $600,000 annually over five years.