3 ex-Penn State officials sent to jail in Sandusky scandal

Emmett Rice
June 11, 2017

Senior Judge John Boccabella handed down the sentences on Friday to former Penn State President Graham Spanier, ex-Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz. Two other former aides, ex-athletic director Gary Schultz and onetime vice president Tim Curley, got similar two-month jail terms followed by house arrest. Additionally, all three former administrators will be required to perform 200 hours of community service each.

The penalties stem from the abuse committed by former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in 2012.

The judge also criticized the actions of the late head football coach, Joe Paterno, who like the other administrators failed to alert child-welfare authorities or police to the 2001 complaint, but was never charged with a crime.

The three are to report to jail July 15.

"Why no one made a phone call to the police ... is beyond me", Boccabella said.

"I deeply regret that I did not intervene more forcefully", said Spanier, who did not testify at his trial. Schultz and Curley are mandated to pay $5,000 fines, and Spanier will pay $7,500.

"I pleaded guilty because I felt like I should have done more", Curley said.

Sandusky was not arrested until 2011, after an anonymous tip led prosecutors to investigate.

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Of the 10 boys Sandusky was convicted of abusing, four have said they were assaulted after the 2001 incident.

In their sentencing memo, prosecutors portrayed Spanier, who was once one of the most-respected higher education leaders in the country, as "the ultimate decision-maker when it came to reporting Sandusky".

McQueary, who later became a Penn State assistant football coach, was sacked by the university in the wake of Sandusky's arrest in 2011. The university has paid almost $250 million in settlements, legal bills, fines, public relations and other costs stemming from the scandal.

"The only downside for us is if the message isn't "heard" and acted upon, and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it", Spanier told Curley and Schultz in a 2001 email exchange, saying it was a "humane and a reasonable way" to deal with Sandusky.

Curley and Schultz also told the court they were sorry they didn't do more.

The scandal led to Paterno's firing in November 2011, and he died of cancer two months later at the age of 85. She said his inaction "allowed children to be harmed".

Boccabella, who said he was picked for the case because he had no Penn State connections, said incarceration was a necessary deterrent to prevent others from making the same mistake of failing to report suspected abuse.

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