Judge, lawyer react to Spanier’s upheld sentence

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Former Penn State University President, Graham Spanier, will serve two months behind bars on work release and then two months on house arrest.

Spanier was first charged with child endangerment in 2012 and convicted by a jury in 2017. His appeals kept him out of prison, until now.

Spanier was convicted after failing to report information that former football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was seen showering alone with a boy in a team locker room in 2001.

“I was really in the courtroom for a lot of the trial itself but then, of course, I went back for the sentencing,” said Corky Goldstein, a local attorney and alumnus of Penn State University.

Spanier’s appeals kept him out of prison, until now. Goldstein says he expects Spanier will file another appeal.

The former university president’s attorney pushed to have him serve his full sentence on house arrest with a monitoring device, due to health concerns. The 72-year-old underwent heart surgery in 2019, has advanced prostate cancer, and also raised concerns over him contracting COVID-19. Spanier’s attorney did say he is fully vaccinated.

“He made a mistake and he’s going to pay for his mistake, but I don’t consider him to be a danger to society as I would a criminal,” said Judge John Boccabella.

“Jerry Sandusky is the monster in this but a lot of kids could have been saved if Graham Spanier who was then the president and most powerful could have done something, he knew about it,” said Goldstein. “All he had to do was pick up the phone and call the police.”

Inside the courtroom, Spanier only spoke to say that he continues to have tenure with Penn State University.

Spanier and his attorney declined to comment.

He will report to Centre County prison on July 9.

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