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The Latest: Penn State: Conviction shows leaders failed

The Latest:  Penn State: Conviction shows leaders failed Photo: AP.

March 24, 2017 09:41 PM

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the conviction of former Penn State president Graham Spanier (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

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Penn State is calling the conviction of its former president and guilty pleas by two other former top administrators a "profound failure of leadership."

Graham Spanier was convicted Friday of one misdemeanor count of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy and a second count of child endangerment.

The university says in a statement that the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal has caused it to strengthen accountability and fight against child abuse.

Former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor child endangerment and testified for the prosecution.

Penn State's statement says the verdict and pleas indicate the three fell short of the school's standards for leadership.

The university's statement says the school's foremost thoughts are with Sandusky's victims.

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5 p.m.

A prosecutor says jurors who found former Penn State president Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yur) guilty of child endangerment "kept the focus successfully on children."

Spanier was convicted Friday of one misdemeanor count of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy and a second count of child endangerment.

The trial centered on how Spanier and two other university leaders handled a report by graduate assistant Mike McQueary that he saw retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually molesting a boy in a shower in 2001.

The two other university leaders pleaded guilty last week to one misdemeanor count of child endangerment.

The charge carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. Spanier's lawyer said they will appeal.

Prosecutor Laura Ditka says Spanier "was convicted for all the children who came to Penn State after what Mike McQueary saw that night."

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4:20 p.m.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yur) has been found guilty of one count of child endangerment over his handling of a child sex abuse complaint against retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Jurors on Friday acquitted the 68-year-old Spanier of the other two counts he faced: conspiracy and another count of child endangerment

The verdict comes more than five years after Sandusky was first charged with sexually abusing children.

An investigator told jurors in Spanier's case that four of the eight young men who testified during Sandusky's trial that he had abused them were abused after a 2001 report that Sandusky had abused a boy in a team shower.

Two of Spanier's former lieutenants who also dealt with complaints about Sandusky pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and testified against Spanier.

Sandusky was convicted and is serving decades in prison.

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12:35 p.m.

Jurors deliberating in the child endangerment trial of former Penn State president Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yur) have asked to rehear excerpts from the transcript of testimony.

The panel on Friday reheard the testimony of Jack Raykovitz, who headed the charity for at-risk children founded by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Raykovitz said then-athletic director Tim Curley told him a 2001 complaint about Sandusky showering with a boy was investigated and no wrongdoing was found, but Sandusky was told he couldn't bring children to university athletic facilities any longer.

Spanier is accused of one count of conspiracy and two counts of child endangerment, all felonies, for his handling of the complaint. Curley pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and testified for the prosecution.

Jurors have deliberated about nine hours so far.

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10:35 a.m.

Jurors have resumed deliberations in the child endangerment trial of former Penn State president Graham Spanier (SPAN'-yur).

The panel deliberated for six hours Thursday without reaching a verdict but did ask the judge for a couple of legal clarifications.

Spanier is accused of conspiracy and two counts of endangerment for his handling of complaints about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky more than 15 years ago.

The 68-year-old Spanier was forced out as university president in 2011 shortly after Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing children. Sandusky is now serving a decadeslong prison sentence.

Spanier didn't testify in his own defense. Two of his former top lieutenants within the university administration took plea deals to a misdemeanor and testified for the prosecution.

The trial is being held in Harrisburg.

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(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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