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State to appeal tossed conviction of Penn State ex-leader Spanier

Mark Scolforo
Associated Press
FILE - In this June 2, 2017, file photo, former Penn State President Graham Spanier departs after his sentencing hearing at the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa. A federal judge on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 has thrown out Spanier's child-endangerment conviction, less than a day before he was due to turn himself in to jail. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s attorney general will appeal a federal judge’s decision to vacate the child-endangerment conviction of former Penn State President Graham Spanier.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the decision Wednesday, a day after U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick ruled Spanier was improperly charged under a 2007 law for actions that occurred in 2001.

Mehalchick gave Shapiro’s office three months to retry Spanier, who had been convicted for how he responded in 2001 to a complaint about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy.

More:Penn State ex-president asks court to overturn conviction

More:Former Penn State president Spanier loses criminal appeal

Shapiro says federal courts have limited power to act in state criminal cases, and argues Mehalchick exceeded that authority.

Spanier was forced out as president shortly after Sandusky’s arrest in November 2011.

The 70-year-old had been scheduled to begin serving two months in jail Wednesday.