Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Franco Harris: Graham Spanier Trial, Jail Sentence A Ridiculous Farce

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Franco Harris thinks that former Penn State University President Graham Spanier got screwed.

Harris, 67, the former Penn State star and NFL Hall of Famer with the Pittsburgh Steelers, went on John Ziegler's "World According To Zig" podcast on Sunday to describe the trial and subsequent jail sentence of Spanier as a ridiculous farce.

 "They had this secret witness who was guarded by 1,000 police take the stand," Harris said, laughing. "It was a farce, it was staged."

Harris was referring to the Dauphin County trial of Spanier last March, when Judge John A. Boccabella had a phalanx of extra sheriff's deputies patrolling the courtroom while the judge introduced 28-year-old Michal Kajak to the jury as "John Doe."

Kajak, who testified as a sex abuse victim of Jerry Sandusky's, proceeded to sob on cue. Only the jury was never told about the sex abuse that Kajak allegedly suffered. It wasn't rape; Kajak was allegedly soaped up in the shower by Sandusky, for which Kajak collected in a civil settlement $8 million.

And when Kajak got through his direct testimony, with the help of some Kleenex, the cowed defense lawyers in the case were too intimidated to ask Kajak a single question. Even though Kajak, a shaky witness at best, had given four different dates for the alleged shower incident, varying from 1998 to 2001, when he was between 10 and 14 years old.

In the Kangaroo Court of Judge Boccabella, this was all the evidence that was needed to send a man up the river. Spanier was promptly convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, and the judge sentenced him to 4 to 12 months in jail.

"That was so ridiculous," Harris said about the jail sentence. "So once again we see the political system at work here with the Attorney General's office. That was a farce."

About the prosecution's case against Spanier, Harris said, "They showed nothing, they had nothing. It was all an emotional appeal to the jury."

"This judge was just ridiculous," Harris said. And then there was the Attorney General's office.

Short of an acquittal on all the charges, "This is the second best verdict we could have had," Harris said, because the jury found Spanier innocent of a second endangerment charge, as well as a charge of conspiracy.

"And the Attorney General's office tried to make it . . . like they had this big victory," Harris said.

"And of course the media lapped it up," Ziegler chimed in. "The media is so dumb. Anything that substantiates their fairy tale narrative they embrace."

Ziegler asked Harris, a longtime defender of former Coach Joe Paterno, if he believed that Sandusky was innocent.

"There will always be questions about that because a lot of them [the alleged victims] weren't even vetted," Harris said. "Penn State ended up playing all the money [$93 million to 32 alleged victims] and Penn State didn't even take the time to vet anyone."

In Harris's view, his former coach got tarred and feathered.

"When the news broke about Jerry and the allegations [came out] against Jerry," Harris said, "That should have never led to the firing of Joe Paterno. There should not have been any connection whatsoever."

Harris said he would continue the fight to clear Paterno's name.

"We have to get the story out, we want to educate Penn Staters," he said. He expects "this HBO movie" starring Al Pacino to stir things up again.

 "There are things that we're gonna have to do to really get our side of the story out," Harris said. "That's going to be very important, to get our side of the story out."

"We will continuing fighting and never stop."

On the podcast, Harris said he was reading an advance copy of Mark Pendergrast's book on the Penn State sex scandal, "The Most Hated Man In America; Jerry Sandusky and The Rush To Judgment," which has been excerpted several times on Big Trial.

"It definitely makes you question some things," Harris said about Pendergrast's book. "It definitely isn't over."

Elsewhere, on the podcast, Harris talked bout the upcoming football season. He pronounced Penn State's Saquon Barkley "the real deal." And revealed how he changed his diet 17 years ago to include blueberries and fish oil in hopes of healing his brain from all the concussions he's had on the gridiron.

Harris also panned former NFL QB Colin Kaepernick for his social activism.

"When he puts that suit on it is not just about him and his position," Harris said. "The team has to come first."

The entire podcast can be heard here.


  1. You have to consider the legal competence of our current AG especially how he preached doing a good job of upholding the law by doing all the right things you were taught in law school. In this farce of a kangaroo trial, he could have blew a few gaskets at fellow prosecutors by chastaining them for such sloppiness in prosecuting a case without credible evidence. The three administrators could have been given a one year non reporting sentence of probation yet those idiots were so determined to get a prison term of 3 or 4 months for them. Judge Boccabella is do incompetent to sit on the bench.

    1. Shapiro suborned perjury from Kajak (A Philly Archdiocese isomorphism). Impossible to have been abused on campus after March 2001, especially in the Lasch building where he would have been seen (Jerry didn't have his keys anymore). Multiple people testified that Jerry was never seen on campus with a kid after 2001. During preseason practice in August, not even the CIA could get near the Lasch building, much less Jerry and a kid.

    2. I agree. In their sentencing memorandum, the prosecutors even blamed Spanier for websites like this, what they termed "conspiracy bloggers." That was outrageous.

      Prosecutors also blamed Spanier for other people revealing the identities of Sandusky victims, yet the identities were revealed in the official court record of Sandusky's trial. The prosecution was to blame for that. Prosecutors could have shielded the identifies of all 8 victims who testified at the Sandusky trial, as they did at the Spanier trial.

  2. A retired judge like Boccabella never should be allowed to try a big case.

    Hopefully, a competent higher court will overturn Spanier's conviction. There are plenty of valid reasons.

    I don't see how a competent judge would even allow a plea deal for Curley and Schultz when they maintained McQueary never told them of a sexual assault.

    Curley and Schultz testified for the prosecution that they never told Spanier of a sexual assault so there was no child endangerment under PA law. The law says requires that a defendant must "knowingly endangers the welfare of the child."

  3. If there is one person who exemplifies what Joe Paterno did for his players, It would be Franco Harris.
    When he first came to PSU he was a fouled mouthed brat from outside Pittsburgh raising all sorts of hell around North Halls. He got into Joe's doghouse, all right. I remember one night in the TV room when Dave Rowe and Jack Ham ushered him out.
    Players like Ted Kwalick, Tommy Sherman, and Frank Spaziani would really rip into Joe, especially after practice while standing in the dinner line at Warnock Hall. They all turned out pretty good. As Ted Kwalick stated when he got out here to California, "As I got older, Joe got smarter".

  4. Boccabella could donate his head sans brains for a game of bocce played in South Philadelphia.

  5. Franco's observation regarding Spanier's trial in Dauphin County, "it was a farce, it was staged", is very important. This observation not only pertains to just this illegitimate Spanier "trial", but it also pertains to our current government in this country as a whole.

    Currently, nothing in our so-called government is operating the way we would expect it to operate under our Constitution. There appears to be an intentional effort on the part of our entire governing structure, with law enforcement and intelligence agencies included, to protect the dishonest and guilty parties while prosecuting the innocent parties.

    So what does this mean? Well, obviously our guaranteed rights as Americans are being violated on all levels in our society. So where is the "authority" to do this coming from? And why do our so-called officials that we see on television appear to be incompetent, indecisive, and unprofessional? It's almost as if we're seeing a "make it up as you go" government. And this does not just pertain to the current Trump administration. In my opinion, it clearly pertains to the former two-term Obama administration as well. So I believe we've had two false Presidents since the 9/11 coup---both serving a hostile foreign power.

    If we follow this theory to conclusion, we can assume that what we are experiencing and witnessing is a poor and cowardly imitation of our U.S. government that we had before the 9/11 false flag coup. It appears to me, that this is an illegal de-facto government representing Israel and not the U.S. The trouble is, we the people were not informed of this takeover. And therefore we could not democratically decide, which is our right, to reject or accept this nullification of our Constitution.

    For 17 years we have been tricked into paying taxes to a pretend U.S. government that we thought served America's best interests. And we are still paying our taxes to a falsely represented U.S. government.

    1. Interesting theory to bring up. 9-11 had nothing to do with PSU and Sandusky. What happened was allegations of child abuse was exaggerated by the media aided by the mothers of the victims. PSU is not the only institution to be affected by this fear as many other institutions are affected. If you don't do something about the problem, you will hear the screams of many people. Therefore prosecutors do what they must do even if it puts innocent people in jail and I starting about the three administrators.

    2. James - I think it was prosecutors that were the driving force in exaggerating the Sandusky case, followed by the lawyers for the alleged victims, who saw multi-million-dollar settlements. The lazy media just parroted what the prosecutors told them.

      A perfect example was the state police investigators taped interview of victim 4 with his lawyer sitting in. While the state trooper thought the tape recorder was turned off, he colluded with the lawyer on ways to get his client to say he was abused. While the tape recorder was turned off, the state trooper told the alleged victim what kinds of abuse other Sandusky victims alleged.

      The state troopers also lied under oath saying he never led the alleged victims when taking statements but the audio tape proved that they did.

      The first trooper to testify met the second in the courtroom hallway to tell the second what to say to be sure their testimonies lined up.

      The judge said nothing of the obvious perjury and witness tampering, and Sandusky's inept lawyers didn't either.

    3. James, everything in America that concerns the inexplicable nature of so much injustice occurring in America right now can be traced back to the 9/11 coup. Our government is currently being misrepresented by an illegal defacto government.

      Come on, Kathleen Kane had no fair trial with a genuinely IMPARTIAL jury. Sandusky had no fair trial, although I do believe he is a pedophile. Spanier, Curley and Schultz were falsely accused and then sentenced to jail for misdemeanors, and Louis Freeh was able to circumvent all laws and just make up bad things about honest men on TV. And not to mention, corrupt Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, won't acknowledge or even talk about the self-evident crimes committed by Jack Raykovitz and his Second Mile.

      Any thinking person can see there's something larger afoot that is "entitling" these corrupt prosecutors along with their phony investigators like Louis Freeh to break the law in an increasingly emboldened fashion.

    4. To be fair to Josh Shapiro, I believe the statute of limitations had long passed to indict Jack Raykovitz for child endangerment by the time Shapiro took office. Blame AG Linda Kelly for failing to investigate or indict Raykovitz or other Second Mile officials.

      Too bad the Paterno lawsuit was withdrawn or maybe some of the underhanded, possibly illegal, dealings between Freeh and the Attorney General's prosecutors would have been revealed. The only hope now for that is probably Spanier's lawsuit versus Freeh but that requires that Spanier gets his child endangerment conviction thrown out first.

    5. Dear Truthseeker...

      you are doing Paterno no good with your comments when they include obviously kookoo conspiracy delusions......Please stop this....we all know that there are people who think Jews are running the world and are the puppetmasters...this is whacko....stop please for the sake of not muddling the real story about the witch hunt.


Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.