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Defense Calls No Witnesses, Spanier Case Now In Jury's Hands

Graham Spanier photo on left. Jerry Sandusky photo on right.
Gene J. Puskar
AP Photo

Lawyers for former Penn State President Graham Spanier have rested without calling any witnesses.

He's facing charges for failing to a report a 2001 incident involving the sexual abuse of a child.

Closing arguments focused on what Spanier knew about Jerry Sandusky. Spanier's lawyers say he was told Mike McQueary saw Jerry Sandusky in a university shower on a Friday night with a boy, and described it as horseplay.

They point out no witness testified that Spanier was told sexual contact occurred between Sandusky and the child.

They argue in hindsight, other decisions perhaps should have been made, but Spanier's conduct does not rise to the level of a crime.

And Spanier’s attorneys say they didn't need to call any witnesses because they argue the state's were so weak.

But prosecutors told the jury they only need to use their common sense.

They say Spanier already knew about a similar incident in 1998 where Sandusky was found with a boy in a shower, so he should have connected the dots and reported the 2001 incident as potential sexual abuse.

Plus, they argue, if Spanier only thought it was horseplay, why did he meet with Penn State administrators on a Sunday before a women's basketball game to discuss it?

And they point out he and others talked in code about the case in emails, conspiring to keep it from the public.

The case is in the hands of the jury.  

Ben Allen was the Morning Edition host at KOSU, from March 2012 to October 2013.
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