3 former Penn State officials get jail time for failing to report Sandusky allegations

June 5, 2017
Former president, vice president and athletic director were found guilty of failing to report allegations that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had sexually abused boys.

Three former administrators at Penn State University have been sentenced to jail time for failing to report a child sexual abuse allegation against Jerry Sandusky when he had access to university facilities as a retired football coach.

The Associated Press reports that former University President Graham Spanier, 68, was sentenced to four to 12 months; the first two to be served in in jail and the rest under house arrest. He was convicted of child endangerment.

Former athletic director Tim Curley, 63, was sentenced to seven to 23 months—three in jail. Former vice president Gary Schultz, 67, was given six to 23 months—two months behind bars. They pleaded guilty to child endangerment.

In imposing the punishment, Judge John Boccabella lambasted the three defendants for failing to report the allegations against Sandusky. “They ignored the opportunity to put an end to his crimes when they had a chance to do so," the judge said.

Prosecutors say the delay in bringing Sandusky's crimes to light enabled him to molest four more boys.

Boccabella said he was “appalled that the common sense to make a phone call did not occur,” a transgression that “sort of robs my faith of who we are as adults and where we are going.”

Coaching assistant Mike McQueary said he witnessed Sandusky, a retired member of the coaching staff, molesting a boy in the football team's showers in 2001. Prosecutors presented evidence that after McQueary recounted what he saw, the three administrators decided not to report it to authorities to protect the university’s reputation.

Sandusky was not arrested until 2011, after a prosecutor got an anonymous email tip. Sandusky was convicted the next year of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving 30 to 60 years in prison.

Penn State has paid out nearly a quarter-billion dollars in fines, settlements and other costs associated with the scandal, and the football program received heavy NCAA sanctions.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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