More could have been done in Sandusky case, officials say
HAPPY VALLEY, Penn. — A report issued Monday by Pennsylvania attorney general’s says that more could have been done to put convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky behind bars earlier, but the investigation stalled for months at a time in the three years that a case was built against the former Penn State football defensive coordinator.
The report does not accuse anyone — most notably the former attorney general, current Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett — of doing anything maliciously to delay the investigation.
Instead, it says that investigators from different agencies failed to communicate and share information and that search warrants and subpoenas were not issued as quickly as they could have been.
For example, almost three years before his arrest, Sandusky was interviewed by a social worker, but police were not invited to the interview.
“This was a notable failure, particularly since at no point later in the investigation did law enforcement manage to interview Sandusky,” the report said.
The report also faults investigators for not finding a 1998 police report at Penn State for nearly two years despite the fact that several people in law enforcement were aware of it.
Sandusky, also a well-liked children’s charity founder, was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sex abuse against 10 boys. His arrest came with charges including conspiracy and perjury against three Penn State officials, including the former university president. And, the scandal led to the firing of legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
The report does not talk about Paterno’s role in the scandal — a widely debated topic among Penn State loyalists and fans who are trying to restore his reputation.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane promised a review of her predecessor’s handling of the case when she took office in 2012, and Monday’s report is the conclusion of that two-year review.
Corbett declined to respond to the report.
Investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police, along with various child welfare agencies, disputed that the actions of their staffs contributed in any way to the delay in the investigation, but instead said that the initial case was too weak to stand alone in criminal court, especially given Sandusky’s stellar reputation in the community.
Former Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley, former Vice President Gary Schultz and former President Graham Spanier are all awaiting trial on charges related to an alleged cover-up of Sandusky’s crimes from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Prosecutors say that e-mails show the ex-Penn State officials knew about two reports of Sandusky abusing boys in the locker room showers on campus, but did not report the second one to police.
That second incident was witnessed by former assistant coach Mike McQueary, and the case could go to court later this year, although it has continuously been delayed since the 2011 arrests.