State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
State House Sound Bites Podcast: NPR | iTunes | Google Play

Prosecution slowly building case in former Penn State head's trial

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Mar 22, 2017 6:23 AM

Spanier, center, approaches the Dauphin County courthouse. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) - The first full day of testimony has ended in the trial of former Penn State President Graham Spanier.

He's charged with failing to properly act on years of child sexual abuse at the hands of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The defense maintains Spanier merely did what he thought was best.

Prosecutors started from the very beginning of the years-long Sandusky saga as they laid the groundwork for their case--with deputy attorney general Patrick Schulte proclaiming that "evil in the form of Jerry Sandusky was allowed to run wild" at Penn State.

As witness after witness took the stand at the Dauphin County Courthouse, the state lawyers repeatedly argued that Spanier was aware of the danger Sandusky posed to children, but failed to act.

The key witness of the day was former assistant coach Mike McQueary, who saw Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in a university shower and said he told superiors what happened--in explicit detail.

Others taking the stand included Jack Raykovitz, former head of Sandusky's charity, the Second Mile. He said Penn State officials downplayed the abuse when they told him about it, and never mentioned Sandusky touching children.

So when--and why--did the story get twisted?

The two key witnesses who may answer that question are former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz, and former athletic director Tim Curley.

They'll testify later this week, and are expected to be instrumental in showing how much Spanier influenced the way Sandusky was handled.

It's still not known who the defense plans to call for testimony--or whether Spanier himself will take the stand.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

back to top

Give Now

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »