Former Penn State President Graham Spanier is guilty of endangering the welfare of children but not guilty of another count of endangerment and a conspiracy charge, a jury has decided.
Despite the conviction, Judge John Boccabella permitted Spanier to remain free on bail pending sentencing.
Graham Spanier sat next to his attorney looking down at his phone in the quiet but heavily secured courtroom after the verdict was announced.
With the misdemeanor conviction, he faces a minimum sentence later this spring that – for most first-time offenders – falls between probation and 9 months in prison, but could range higher.
Prosecutors had argued that Spanier broke the law when, after receiving a 2001 report that graduate assistant Mike McQueary had seen Sandusky naked with a young boy in the showers at Penn State's Lasch Building, he did not demand that it be reported immediately to child protection authorities.
The result, prosecutor Patrick Schulte said in opening statements Monday, was that "evil in the form of Jerry Sandusky was allowed to run wild" for another decade. Prosecutors maintained that Sandusky sexually assaulted at least three more boys before he was charged with a crime in 2011.
Spanier's defense attorney, however, said Spanier did the best he could with a bad situation, and argued that the prosecution was trying to criminalize a judgment call.
He worked to show the jury that Spanier, whose information on Sandusky came from former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former senior vice president Gary Schultz, never understood that what McQueary saw was sexual or possibly criminal in nature.
"Graham Spanier agreed to a plan (to deal with Jerry Sandusky) that he believed to be appropriate in light of the facts presented to him," said Sam Silver, Spanier's lead trial attorney.
Spanier's trial is the last criminal case remaining from the Sandusky sex abuse scandal. Sandusky himself was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving a 30-year prison sentence.
Schultz and Curley last week pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children for their part in the supposed cover-up of the 2001 report by McQueary.