Friday, March 24

Inane Spanier Conviction a Temporary Set Back

The jury’s impossible verdict that Spanier supervised and endangered an unknown child will be overturned on appeal and the fight will continue

Ray Blehar

Over the last week pieces of the truth were revealed, however the false narrative of a Penn State cover-up by the Harrisburg Patriot news and national media were too pervasive for a Dauphin County jury to completely exonerate former PSU President Dr. Graham Spanier.

The jury reached a guilty verdict that did not comport with the elements of the Endangering the Welfare of Children (EWOC) statute.   Specifically, they found that Dr. Spanier was responsible for the welfare of a child who has yet to be identified. 

The child, known as Victim 2, could not possibly be tied to being supervised by anyone other than Jerry Sandusky because (allegedly) he is unknown. 

They tendered the verdicts around 4:00 PM – likely choosing their weekend plans over reaching the legally correct verdict.

The jury acquitted Dr. Spanier of a second endangerment charge and criminal conspiracy.  

Spanier’s legal team took the verdict in stride, confident that they would win on appeal. 

In a related story, a Philadelphia judge just ruled that there was prosecutorial misconduct and granted a new trial in the EWOC case against Monsignor William Lynn of the Philadelphia Roman Catholic diocese.  Monsignor Lynn was wrongly convicted and also was not directly supervising children.

Blowing Up the Freeh Report

The plea deals, trials verdicts, and testimony have blown huge holes in the findings of the investigation conducted by Louis Freeh.

First, even though former PSU administrators Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz pleaded to misdemeanor EWOC and that Spanier was found guilty of the same, the Freeh Report’s finding of a “total and consistent…disregard for the safety and welfare” of children has been blown out of the water. 

The misdemeanor count means there was no consistent course of conduct that endangered children.

In addition, Freeh’s hyperbolic conclusion that Joe Paterno and the others “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade” also has been proven false by the court.

Next, the Commonwealth produced no witnesses and no evidence that the avoidance of bad publicity had any bearing on the decisions made in 2001.   The court also showed no evidence that the decisions were made due to a “culture of reverence for the football program.”

As reported by yesterday, Freeh’s conclusion that football Coach Joe Paterno intervened and changed the plan of action in the 2001 matter has also been proven untrue.

Freeh’s conclusions that cited publicity, football, and Paterno were the underlying factors in the 2001 decisions were the foundational elements for the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s charge that there was a lack of institutional integrity at Penn State and subsequent penalties.

There is now no legal basis for those conclusions and the trial results should bolster Dr. Spanier’s defamation case against the former FBI Director.


In conclusion, the Commonwealth’s Conspiracy of Silence case against former PSU officials was officially debunked by the acquittal on the lone remaining conspiracy count.

The trial testimony also proved PSU officials were not silent and reported the incident outside the University.

While Dr. Spanier suffered a minor defeat today in court, he showed the heart of a lion by maintaining his innocence and standing up to those in the Attorney General’s office who routinely trample the rights of the citizenry.

Thank you, Dr. Spanier.

We will fight on.


  1. Thank you Ray; you have lifted my spirits after the disappointment of the Spanier verdict. Your words are an inspiration to fight on for how ever long it takes to get to the truth and to restore the reputation of Joe Paterno and Penn State. You too have the heart of a lion.

    1. Carole,
      Thanks for your comments and I'm happy that you were uplifted by what I wrote.

      So was Graham.

  2. Ray - What was the difference between the two conspiracy charges? Were they the same with one a felony and one a misdemeanor?

    I agree the jury didn't follow the evidence. They might have just decided to convict Spanier on the same charge as the one Curley and Schultz pleaded to. If Curley and Schultz had not taken a plea, they might have all been acquitted.

    1. Tim,
      My understanding is the felony EWOC count comes from a course of conduct of endangering children. So only one count or one instance apparently is a misdemeanor.

    2. CDT, I believe, reported that he was convicted under the first section of the child endangerment law where he would have been the employer or supervisor of the person supervising the child. Maybe they couldn't claim a course of conduct there because they only knew of the unidentified boy in 2001.

      The other child endangerment count was from the second section where a person "in an official capacity, prevents or interferes with the making of a report of suspected child abuse." Their stated theory was that every day not reporting the 2001 incident was a new failure to report, which, I guess, made it a course of conduct.

  3. It is being reported that Freeh has finally broken his silence and issued a statement harshly criticizing Penn State and calling for President Barron to resign.

    I'm not so sure it is accurate given that it came from an email account. Knowing Freeh, I'd think he'd want to make any statement live on TV.

    1. I'm skeptical that it is authentic. Only CDT, Collegian, OnwardState, and Mark Scoloforo (AP-Philly) are reporting on it.

      Let's wait and see.

    2. Washington Post and Chicago tribune are reporting it too.

  4. Freeh is calling for Barron to resign? Sounds like more manufactured drama to keep the focus on PSU and off of The Second Mile. How can Louis Freeh call for anything anyway? He's now just a eunuch that used to have power when the public thought he had integrity. Freeh milked that FBI image thing for decades, fooling the public into believing he actually deserved 8 million dollars to ruin innocent people's lives.

    Did anyone else notice Josh Shapiro's bright blue tie today? It sure looks like the one Freeh had on the day he crucified Spanier and Paterno. Could it be Josh Shapiro borrowed it from Freeh for its mystical powers of deception? Just a joke, but maybe you get my point? America has been usurped people, look at those pitiful treasonous thugs standing next to Shapiro at his press conference as he tells us that Spanier is guilty and not above the law. I want to know why Josh Shapiro's version of law enforcement is selective. Are he and Risa Ferman above our American laws for corruption and treason?

    1. Truthseeker,
      Take a wait and see on the authenticity of Freeh's statement. Lots of #FakeNews out there right now.

      I have few doubts that Shapiro is a part of PACORN, along with Ferman. It will take a monumental effort to stop the corruption in PA.

  5. Graham is going to have to find an attorney that knows how to defend a criminal case. I'm surprised the one he had this week even passed the Bar. My CAT could have put up a more competent least MM, JR, and probably Ditka would be leaving the courtroom with major claw marks.

    1. Gregory,
      I agree that the defense decision not to provide witnesses proved to be an error and nearly all the Spanier supporters commenting on-line said it was a mistake when the decision was made.

      In hindsight, putting up two days worth of witnesses and having closing arguments on Monday likely would have resulted in not guilty verdicts across the board for the mere fact that the jury wouldn't be concerned about their weekend plans being ruined.

    2. Even the cross-examination might have been deficient given that the jury asked for the definition of supervisor and reheard the testimony of Jack Raykovitz.

      When the defense cross-examined Raykovitz they should have asked about Second Mile employing Sandusky in 2001 as a consultant and paying him $57K per year. They should have also asked questions about what Sandusky did for that $57K and who at Second Mile supervised him.

      They should have vigorously questioned Raykovitz about the Friend Fitness program that endangered children by allowing one child to work out alone with one adult.

      They should have emphasized in the closing argument that Second Mile employed Sandusky in 2001 and supervised him in their Friend Fitness program.

    3. I can't believe Dr Spanier didn't insist on his defense team shining a bold, direct light on Mike McQueary's credibility. His motives for an ever-changing version. Dr Dranov under oath as to his entire experience with Mike, as relevant to this story. A clear, unambiguous explanation as to why HE (Dranov) did not report Mike's concerns. I.e., Dranov's justification for his own decision in this matter. Dranov could easily have been on trial himself. As co-conspirator with Mike. And with Raykovitz. Explore Dranov's motives. His connections with The Second Mile, his own exposure to questions of his professional ethics. Why didn't Spanier insist that the direct responsibility of Dranov, Mike McQueary, and Raykovitz be exposed now. Finally.

    4. I agree that the defense should have blamed Raykovitz, Second Mile, DPW, CYS, PSU police and the DA's office.

      I believe Dranov was likely truthful. He contradicted McQueary. The prosecution would have gladly given Darnov immunity had he backed up Mike.

      Dranov was a mandated reporter if he had been at work and the child had been one of his patients. I believe he made the argument that he was not a mandated reporter for the McQueary report. I believe a reading of the law supports that.

      I think there are two possibilities with Mike McQueary. One is he witnessed what he said but told a different story in 2001.

      Second, the police told him details that his memory automatically filled in for the missing pieces of his own story. In this case, McQueary would have made a false confession, a leading cause of wrongful convictions.

  6. You have at the bottom of this page...the Bald Face Lie. The mantra that Ditka recited all week. It has been 6 years and NOBODY has attacked that lie and the PEOPLE who propagated it. You ATTACK, not curl up like an opposum like C/S/S and the Paternos have been doing. I know that it is not "politically correct" to do that, but that is what you MUST do in a case like this. Look at what Tom Misareau did when he defended Micheal Jackson. Look at what OJ's defense team did. They knew what had to be done to defend their clients.

    1. Gregory,
      Thanks for your comments.

      More correctly, none of the defendants or Penn State University has attacked the BALD FACED LIE. The only people who have attacked it are the alumni, Penn State supporters, Kevin Slaten, and John Ziegler.

      But I get your point. The place to attack it is in the courtroom where the media will report it. That has yet to happen.

  7. So now what? What sort of sentencing can we expect for Mr. Spanier? Will he serve any time? Community service? Misdemeanor EWOC? Sounds like an attempt to whitewash the whole mess. CSS all receive a slap in the wrist. The prosecution walks away without facing their complicity in creating this whole mess. It all appears so contrived.

  8. I think Spanier is likely to get some prison time just to make an example of him, although some or all of it could be suspended. He is likely to get a harsher sentence than Curley and Schultz because they took a plea deal.

    Reports are that the minimum sentence for this kind of offense ranges from probation to 12 months. The maximum sentence is 5 years and a $10,000 fine.

    Spanier might even serve his sentence and then get the conviction overturned on appeal.