Ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier sees child endangerment conviction thrown out
Spanier was the president at Penn State during the Jerry Sandusky scandal
The child endangerment conviction of former Penn State president Graham Spanier has been thrown out, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick of the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that Spanier was improperly charged using a 2007 law for the incident, which occurred six years prior in 2001.
Here's what Mehalchick wrote, per the AP.
"Spanier submits that this retroactive application is unreasonable and far more extensive than anyone in 2001 would have been able to reasonably foresee. The court agrees."
Spanier was convicted of child endangerment in June 2017 for failing to alert law enforcement about a 2001 incident involving former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and a young boy. The incident was reported by then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who said that he saw Sandusky abusing the boy in the team shower of the football program. McQueary reported the incident to Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz. Courts ruled that the three administrators did not take adequate action upon hearing the report from McQueary.
Spanier was convicted with child endangerment along with Curley and Schultz, who both reached plea agreements, served jail time and testified against Spanier as a result of their convictions in a scandal that engulfed the nation..
Spanier was scheduled to report to jail on Wednesday to begin serving a minimum of two months before his conviction was overturned. The court has three months to retry Spanier.
Sandusky, 75, was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison in 2012 on 45 counts of child molestation. A Pennsylvania appeals court ordered him to be resentenced in February due to improper application of mandatory minimum sentences.
The scandal set off a series of events that led to the termination of former coach Joe Paterno on Nov. 9, 2011, and an NCAA investigation that resulted in NCAA sanctions against the football program. Those sanctions were later rescinded.
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