HARRISBURG, Pa. — A jury found former Penn State University President Graham Spanier guilty of one misdemeanor count of child endangerment Friday, ending a case that dragged on for more than four years over whether Spanier and two other university executives covered up previous allegations made against former Penn State assistant football coach and convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.

The jury, which began deliberations early Thursday afternoon, acquitted Spanier of a separate count of child endangerment and of conspiracy, but delivered a conviction on the other charge he faced, stemming from a 2001 incident in the Penn State locker room. Spanier, 68, offered no reaction when the verdict was announced.

Former Penn State vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley, who both originally faced the same charges as Spanier, struck deals with the prosecution earlier this month in which each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of endangering children.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys. A longtime Penn State assistant football coach, he also ran a charity for at-risk children, the Second Mile, which he used to access a stream of victims, some of whom he brought back to the Penn State campus and assaulted. The case brought about an inglorious end to the career of Coach Joe Paterno, who was fired days after Sandusky’s 2011 arrest and died months later.

The case against Spanier focused on his role in two complaints that pre-dated Sandusky’s 2011 arrest: a 1998 report by a mother that Sandusky “bear-hugged” her son in the shower at Penn State, and a 2001 report by football graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who claims he witnessed Sandusky molesting a boy in the showers.

The 1998 report was investigated by authorities, who concluded Sandusky did not commit a crime. After the 2001 report from McQueary – the specifics of which are still disputed by McQueary, Schultz and Curley – Spanier and other Penn State leaders exchanged emails and agreed on a plan not to contact law enforcement or child welfare authorities, but rather to bar the then-retired coach from bringing children onto campus facilities, and to inform officials at Sandusky’s charity of the incident.