Three former Pennsylvania State University administrators, including former president Graham Spanier, were each sentenced to serve at least two months in jail Friday for failing to alert law enforcement about a 2001 incident involving retired football coach Jerry Sandusky and a boy in a campus shower. The sentences marked one of the final rulings from the criminal justice system on the shocking saga of missed opportunities to stop a sexual predator associated with one of America’s most storied college football programs.Sandusky, 73, was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing boys he accessed through his Second Mile charity for at-risk children, some of whom he brought back to Penn State’s campus. Penn State has reached private settlements with more than 30 Sandusky victims, and at least four have said they were assaulted after the 2001 incident, of which the Penn State administrators decided not to alert law enforcement.“Why Mr. Sandusky was allowed to continue to the Penn State facilities is beyond me,” Judge John Boccabella said. “All three ignored the opportunity to put an end to [Sandusky’s] crimes when they had a chance to do so.”Boccabella also criticized legendery Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, whose 45-year career ended ignominously with his firing days after Sandusky’s 2011 indictment. Paterno, who like the other administrators failed to alert authorities to the 2001 complaint, was never charged with a crime. Boccabella said Paterno “could have made that phone call without so much as getting his hands dirty. Why he didn’t is beyond me.”
The three former Penn State officials all apologized for their actions and to Sandusky’s victims before the sentences were handed down.
“It really sickens me to think I might have played a part in children being hurt. I’m sorry that I didn’t do more, and I apologize to the victims,” Schultz said.
Prosecutors strongly criticized all three men, particularly Spanier.
“He was a complete and utter failure as a leader when it mattered most,” prosecutor Laura Ditka said.