New Castle News

Penn State Scandal

June 24, 2014

Our Opinion: Report finds flaws in Sandusky probe, but no scanda

NEW CASTLE — So it seems the investigation into Jerry Sandusky was less than perfect.

We imagine the same could be said about many investigations. It’s just that when the matter involves a child predator — and the possibility of additional victims while investigators get their act together — the stakes in the matter are raised.

But those concerns really weren’t what led to the examination of the Sandusky probe, and the report that was issued by the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane yesterday. Instead, the report was the product of campaign suggestions by Kane that now-Gov. Tom Corbett may have dragged his feet on the Sandusky investigation for political reasons while he was attorney general.

Yesterday’s report, prepared by former federal prosecutor Geoff Moulton, said there was no such evidence. But Moulton did outline a series of mistakes and miscommunications related to the Sandusky case that slowed down the investigation.

A big concern for prosecutors early on with Sandusky was the fact they originally had only one victim. There were concerns — no doubt legitimate — that testimony related to a single child abuse victim might not be successful in challenging someone such as Sandusky, who was well known and well respected in the State College community.

While that may have made a certain amount of sense at the time, in retrospect, the case could be made that this decision was in error. Had Sandusky been charged then, it may have prompted other victims to come forward. Then prosecutors would have had more evidence.

Another question swirling around the Sandusky matter has been whether or not the attorney general’s office under Corbett devoted sufficient resources to the investigation. Moulton said that while the pace of the probe picked up speed after Corbett left office and additional investigators took part, there is no indication the evidence that eventually surfaced had anything to do with the number of people looking at Sandusky.

In short, hindsight undoubtedly alters the perception of Sandusky. If people knew then what they know now, we’re sure the investigation would have been handled differently.

So we can now be treated to political shots back and forth. Kane, to justify the probe, will point to investigatory flaws. Republicans in turn are attacking Kane for launching her probe solely to justify a key theme of her campaign for attorney general.

Maybe some of these criticisms will stick. But for now, we presume the Jerry Sandusky saga won’t be much of a factor in this fall’s elections.

It will, however, stand as a tragedy and maybe an example for future prosecutors looking into such cases.

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Penn State Scandal
  • Our Opinion: Report finds flaws in Sandusky probe, but no scanda

    So it seems the investigation into Jerry Sandusky was less than perfect.

    June 24, 2014

  • sandusky.jpg Penn State scandal played out in courts over 2013

    Penn State paid millions to settle claims of child sexual abuse, three university administrators accused of a cover-up fought the charges and NCAA penalties were dialed down slightly as the Jerry Sandusky scandal continued to play out in many different ways over the past year.

    December 28, 2013 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Appeals court denies Sandusky new trial

     Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky should not get a new trial after being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys, a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Wednesday.

    October 2, 2013 1 Photo

  • Penn State Abuse1.jpg Three from PSU ordered to stand trial

    Penn State’s ex-president and two former top school administrators were ordered yesterday to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    July 31, 2013 1 Photo

  • Penn State Saga: Paterno lawyer says estate to sue NCAA

    The family of the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno — along with several university trustees, former players and others connected to the school — plan to sue the NCAA over the landmark sanctions against the university for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    May 30, 2013

  • Paterno family speaks at child abuse event

    On the night before he died, Joe Paterno scrawled a message that his wife Sue did not find until after the legendary coach had passed away. In that message, Joe Paterno noted the silver lining in the child sex abuse coverup that led to his firing might be that the scandal could inspire a greater awareness about child abuse.

    April 12, 2013

  • Judge: No new trial for Sandusky

    Jerry Sandusky lost a bid for a new trial Wednesday when a judge rejected his argument that his lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for the three-week proceeding that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict.

    January 30, 2013

  • Spanier.tiff Ex-PSU president Spanier charged in sex abuse scandal

    Former Penn State President Graham Spanier on Thursday became the latest high-ranking school official to face charges in the child sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Additional charges were also filed against two other school officials already charged in the case.

    November 1, 2012 1 Photo

  • dd5576bc7a387e1c1d0f6a7067004664.jpg Our Opinion: Sandusky jail term protects children and sends a message

    There probably isn’t much new to say about the Jerry Sandusky saga at this point. However, yesterday’s sentencing of Sandusky to 30 to 60 years in prison — essentially a life term — for his conviction on child sex abuse charges, warrants additional comment.

    October 10, 2012 1 Photo

  • dd5576bc7a387e1c1d0f6a7067004664.jpg Jerry Sandusky will die in prison, judge says

    Jerry Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison — effectively a life sentence — in the child-sex-abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno's downfall. A defiant Sandusky gave a rambling statement in which he denied the allegations and talked about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family.

    October 9, 2012 1 Photo 1 Story

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