The man who ran Penn State amid allegations that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys may now face jail time.
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was found guilty Friday of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. No date has yet been set for Spanier’s sentencing. His conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The jury in the c acquitted Spanier of more serious allegations, including conspiracy charges and a felony count of child endangerment.
“There are zero excuses when it comes to failing to report the abuse of children to the appropriate authorities,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Friday in a press conference after the trial. “No one is above the law. Especially when it comes to the welfare of children.”
Spanier’s attorney, Sam Silver, said in a written statement that the former president intends to appeal the verdict.
“While we are disappointed with the jury’s verdict, we are gratified that it was of only a single misdemeanor count. We certainly respect and appreciate the jury’s hard work,” he said. “There always have been substantial questions in this case that need to be reviewed and resolved by the appellate courts, and we fully intend to pursue an appeal.”
Speaking to reporters after the verdict was announced, lead prosecutor Laura Ditka called the conviction “a major victory.”
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SOURCE: CNN, Sara Ganim and Evan Simko-Bednarski