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

Mar 23, 2017

In this photo combo, at left, in an Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, Penn State president Graham Spanier walks on the field before an NCAA college football game in State College, Pa. At right, former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse in custody after being found guilty of multiple charges of child sexual abuse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012.
Credit 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.