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Prosecution Rests In Spanier Case; On Track To End This Week

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier surrounded by reporters
Matt Rourke
AP Photo

(Harrisburg) -- In the Dauphin County Courthouse, the child endangerment case against former Penn State President Graham Spanier is entering its second phase. The prosecution has rested, and now it’s the defense’s turn.

The case will resume Thursday, although it’s unclear who Spanier’s lawyers plan to call and whether the defendant himself will speak. 

The information presented over the last two days has spanned nearly two decades, beginning with Penn State’s first child abuse investigation of Sandusky in 1998.

But it’s all boiling down to one particular moment in time—when Penn State graduate assistant Mike McQueary walked in on Sandusky molesting a boy in a locker room shower.

McQueary first told his father, and then head coach Joe Paterno. Paterno passed it on to Athletic Director Tim Curley, who told Senior Vice President Gary Schultz, who relayed it to Spanier.

McQueary said the incident was obviously sexual and maintains he told administrators that in a subsequent conversation.

But somewhere, the story got twisted—at some point, the word “horseplay” became a common descriptor of the incident.

Curley and Schultz both say they got the impression it was inappropriate, but didn’t constitute rape or assault. Paterno died in 2012.

In any event, neither child protective services, nor the police, were ever called. Sandusky molested at least four more boys—including one who testified he was assaulted in that same Penn State locker room in 2002.

Curley and Schulz pleaded guilty to child endangerment misdemeanors last week. While both said they regret not doing more, their testimony revealed little new information.  

Katie Meyer covers politics, policy, power, and elections at every level of government, with the goal of showing how it all affects people’s lives. Before coming to Philadelphia, she covered state politics as Harrisburg bureau chief for WITF, and hosted the station’s politics podcast. She got her start in public radio in the Bronx, at Fordham University station WFUV. She’s from upstate New York.
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