June 25, 2021 00:52

Penn State Head’s Conviction Restored in Sex Case

Saying his civil rights weren’t violated, a federal appeals court reinstated former Penn State University President Graham Spanier’s child endangerment convictions that stemmed from the Jerry Sandusky child-sex case, reports Penn Live. Spanier’s two-month prison sentence was revived. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit overturned a ruling a U.S. magistrate judge that voided Spanier’s 2017 conviction by a Dauphin County jury on constitutional grounds. Pennsylvania State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, “No one is above the law, especially when it comes to the welfare of children. Today’s ruling to reinstate the conviction of Graham Spanier proves just that.”

Spanier’s conviction stems from his decision to handle a 2001 sexual abuse allegation about football program fixture Sandusky internally, rather than take it to police or child welfare officials. A decade later, Sandusky, a former Penn State football coach, was convicted of sexually abusing several young boys on and off-campus. Appeals Judge D. Michael Fisher rejected Spanier’s argument that the statute of limitations for prosecuting the 2001 incident had expired before he was charged. Fisher concluded Spanier’s conviction is valid because he personally oversaw the university’s response to the 2001 child abuse report. That incident involved assistant coach Michael McQueary’s report of seeing Sandusky with a naked boy in the showers at the football building. Fisher’s opinion concurred with a state Superior Court ruling that denied a Spanier appeal.

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