News

Spanier's lawyers call no witnesses; case now goes to jury

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Mar 23, 2017 1:30 PM
Graham_spanier_2017.jpg

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier walks to the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg, Pa., Monday, March 20, 2017. Spanier faces charges that he failed to report suspected child sex abuse in the last remaining criminal case in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Harrisburg) -- 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, arguing that shows he was conspiring to keep it from the public.

The case is in the hands of the jury.

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