Graham Spanier, former president of Pennsylvania State University, will start a two-month jail sentence in July for his failure to report a 2001 allegation of sexual abuse of a child by Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at the university who molested children for decades, PennLive.com reported.
Spanier was convicted of endangering the welfare of children, a misdemeanor, in 2017 because he did not share the allegation with police or other authorities. But the conviction was appealed, thrown out, then reinstated by federal judges in the time since, allowing Spanier to avoid a jail sentence until this year, according to ESPN. His attorney attempted to argue that Spanier, 72, should serve no jail time due to his age and other health conditions that make him more susceptible to getting COVID-19, PennLive.com reported.
But a judge upheld the sentence Wednesday and Spanier will report to a Pennsylvania correctional facility on July 9, the news site reported. Josh Shapiro, attorney general for the state, praised the decision in a statement.
“Today marks the end of a long road towards justice for the children endangered by Mr. Spanier’s inaction -- choosing to cover up the abuse at the hands of Jerry Sandusky rather than reporting it to law enforcement,” Shapiro said. “No one is above the law, and my office will continue to pursue anyone who looks the other way in the face of child sexual abuse. There are consequences for failing to protect children in Pennsylvania.”