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Former Penn State president ordered to jail May 1

Mark Scolforo
The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Former Penn State president Graham Spanier must report to jail by May 1 to start serving a criminal sentence for his handling of a complaint about Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy, under a judge’s order made public Wednesday.

Judge John Boccabella said Spanier may do his time in the jail near his home in State College if county jail wardens approve. If not, he has to report to the Dauphin County Prison in Harrisburg. The judge also gave his approval for Spanier to participate in a work-release program.

Spanier, 70, has remained on bail after his 2017 conviction by a jury of a single misdemeanor count of child endangerment. He was sentenced to a minimum of two months in jail and two months of house arrest.

Spanier and his lawyers did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The attorney general’s office, which prosecuted Spanier, offered no immediate comment.

Charged: Spanier was forced out as university president in November 2011, days after Sandusky was first charged with child molestation. Spanier was charged a year later, although many of the counts against him were thrown out prior to trial.

Two high-ranking administrators under Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz, pleaded guilty to child endangerment on the eve of trial and testified against him.

The state Supreme Court in February declined to take up Spanier’s appeal, leaving in place a lower court’s decision that had upheld his conviction.

Last month, Spanier filed a federal petition asking a judge to vacate his conviction, arguing that his conviction involved a version of the law that wasn’t in place at the time of the 2001 shower incident and challenging how the statute of limitations was applied to his case.

Spanier did not testify on his own behalf and told Boccabella at sentencing that he regretted not intervening more forcefully.

He has said Sandusky’s attack on the boy was characterized to him as horseplay.

A Penn State spokeswoman said Wednesday that Spanier remains a tenured faculty member on administrative leave.

Sandusky is serving a 30-to-60-year state prison sentence and recently won an order for a new sentence. He continues to assert his innocence.