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Ex-Penn State President Will Serve Jail Time In The Jerry Sandusky Child Abuse Scandal

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier walks from the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa., after a hearing on Wednesday. A judge said Spanier must report to jail on July 9 to begin serving at least two months for endangering the welfare of children.
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier walks from the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa., after a hearing on Wednesday. A judge said Spanier must report to jail on July 9 to begin serving at least two months for endangering the welfare of children.

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered former Penn State President Graham Spanier to report to jail on July 9 for charges related to the child abuse scandal that embroiled the university a decade ago.

A Dauphin County Court judge ordered Spanier to serve two months in a Centre County correctional facility, followed by two months of house arrest for charges of endangering the welfare of children.

Spanier was convicted four years ago for failing to report to authorities claims shared with him that former football coach Jerry Sandusky abused a boy at the school. Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term following his 2012 conviction for sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year time span.

Spanier was originally found guilty by a jury of misdemeanor child endangerment, along with former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley, and vice president Gary Schultz. Spanier later appealed his conviction and had it overturned, but a federal appeals court last month overturned that decision.

This week, Spanier's attorneys unsuccessfully asked a judge to allow the former college president to serve only house arrest due to health problem. The 72-year-old had heart surgery in 2019 and has advanced prostate cancer, according to his attorneys.

Prosecutors have said they would support work releases and medical furloughs from jail given his health issues.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Spanier turned a blind eye to child abuse 10 years ago.

"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," Shapiro said. "There are consequences for failing to protect children in Pennsylvania."

In 2001, a graduate assistant saw Sandusky abusing a boy and reported what he observed to head coach Joe Paterno, Schultz and Curley. Those men described McQueary's account to Spanier.

Emails later showed the officials considering, then rejecting, the idea of reporting Sandusky to the police. Sandusky was not arrested until 2011.

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Corrected: May 27, 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT
An earlier version of this story misspelled Dauphin County as Daulphin County.