Monday, November 7, 2011
AG: JoePa not a target, but school negligent
By Adam Rittenberg
Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly and State police Commissioner Frank Noonan held a news conference Monday to address the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and the fallout at Penn State.
Kelly made it clear that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno isn't a target in the ongoing investigation and won't face any legal repercussions for his handling of the situation.
"He's been cooperative with the investigators," she said.
Noonan did add, however, "Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child. I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you're a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us."
Kelly said Penn State officials never made any attempt to identify the child that the former graduate assistant saw in the showers with Sandusky in 2002.
"In this case, it is alleged that top administration officials at Penn State University, Curley and Schultz, after receiving a report of the sexual assault of a young boy in a Lasch Hall shower by Sandusky from both a graduate assistant and the coach of the Penn State football team not only failed to report the incident, as required by law, but never made any attempt to identify that child," Kelly said in a statement released Monday afternoon.
Paterno notified athletic director Tim Curley --fulfilling his legal responsibility -- but not law-enforcement authorities. Curley, charged with felony perjury and failing to report an alleged sex charge involving children, was arraigned Monday and released after posting bail.
While Paterno appears to be out of the woods legally, other key Penn State officials are facing action or could face action in the future. Asked Monday whether university president Graham Spanier is a target, Kelly said, "This is an ongoing investigation."
Kelly also was asked about previous issues involving Sandusky, including a 1998 investigation into allegations of abuse that was handled by Penn State university police. Another question brought up allegations that Sandusky brought a child to a Penn State preseason practice in 2007. Kelly said the 2007 incident could require further investigation, especially since Paterno and assistant coach Mike McQueary -- reportedly the graduate assistant who reported the previous Sandusky incident -- both had knowledge of the alleged 2002 abuse incident.
The bottom line here is that while Paterno likely won't face legal issues, his limited response will continue to be questioned. The big question becomes whether Spanier, who issued a strong statement supporting Curley and Gary Schultz, the school's senior vice president for business and finance, will be implicated.
Much more to come ...