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Report: Politics had no role in Sandusky probe

Politics Didn't Affect Sandusky Inquiry

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A report released Monday detailing the handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case faults police and prosecutors for long delays in bringing charges but found no evidence that politics affected the investigation into the former Penn State assistant football coach.

The report, commissioned by Attorney General Kathleen Kane and written by former federal prosecutor Geoff Moulton, blamed a three-year lapse in filing charges on communication problems, an expungement of a 1998 complaint about Sandusky and a failure to take certain investigative steps early on.

"The facts show an inexcusable lack of urgency in charging and stopping a serial sexual predator," said Kane, a Democrat who had vowed to conduct a review of the investigation while running for office. "The report documents that more investigative work took place in just one month in 2011 than in all of either 2009 or 2010."

Then-Attorney General Tom Corbett, a Republican, was in the midst of his successful 2010 gubernatorial campaign during the Sandusky investigation.

Moulton said his review "revealed no direct evidence that electoral politics influenced any important decision made in the Sandusky investigation."

As a candidate in 2012, Kane said Corbett may have had a political motive to slow down the investigation, an assertion Corbett denied. Sandusky's arrest led to the firing of longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno while Corbett was serving as a university trustee.

"This investigation was never about politics," Corbett said in a statement Monday. "It was always about the people victimized by this man."

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving decades in prison.

At a news conference, Kane said her office knows of two young men who said they were victimized in the fall of 2009, after the attorney general took the case. But the lead prosecutors at trial disputed that claim, which was not part of Moulton's report.

"It is completely false," said Frank Fina, now with the Philadelphia district attorney's office.

One of those who took the stand against Sandusky, known in court as Victim 9, said his contact with Sandusky ended in 2008 or 2009, but Kane said she was not talking about any of the eight young men who testified.

Kane spokesman J.J. Abbott said later the office would not provide additional details.

"Attorney General Kane stands strongly by her statement," Abbott said. "This office is aware of two people who allege abuse into the fall of 2009."

As for the time it took to bring charges, the report said the lead prosecutor at the time, Jonelle Eshbach, hectored her bosses about the case during a stretch in 2010 when the probe was largely dormant.

Eshbach drafted a grand jury report in March 2010 based on the claims of a lone victim, but she spent much of the ensuing months - as Corbett won the primary - trying to get approval for the report.

"In the interim, no witnesses were interviewed, no witnesses testified in the grand jury and no grand jury subpoenas were issued," Moulton wrote. He said the basis for that decision was that one accuser's testimony wouldn't be enough to convict Sandusky and an acquittal would make it harder to file more charges later.

Fina told reporters Eshbach agreed with others that the case would not succeed with just one victim.

Her lawyer disputed that.

"If that was true, why would her supervisors ask her to revise the (grand jury report) twice? Why would she repeatedly ask for permission from her supervisors to charge?" said her attorney, Ed Paskey.

The report said the investigation picked up steam two days after Corbett was elected governor in November 2010, when the Centre County prosecutor received an anonymous tip directing investigators to assistant football coach Mike McQueary, whose testimony eventually helped convict Sandusky.

Additional victims were identified, and on June 21, 2011, Sandusky's home was searched, producing photos and typewritten lists of children who participated in events at Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile, with some names highlighted.

According to the report, prosecutors told Moulton they waited until 2011 to search Sandusky's home computer and subpoena child protective services records because they "believed that they were unlikely to be productive and would have risked publicly revealing the existence of the investigation."

More resources early on, including additional investigators, may not have speeded up the case, Moulton said, because the best leads were not related to how many detectives were devoted to the matter.

He said decisions not to bring charges based solely on one accuser or, in June 2011, after three more witnesses had testified before a grand jury, "fit within acceptable bounds of prosecutorial discretion."

Moulton noted that if authorities had put together a larger team early on, it's possible someone may have known about or turned up a 1998 police investigation of Sandusky prompted by a mother's complaint that the coach had showered with her son.

Also Monday, a state hearing examiner recommended that Sandusky's $4,900-a-month pension be reinstated and he receive payments back to October 2012, when his benefits were canceled. A final decision by the State Employees' Retirement Board could occur this fall.

Join the discussion

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moooooooooochelle June 23 2014 at 10:58 PM


Corbett did convene and grand jury in 2009. So why didn't he bring an indictment?

The Governor is far from an innocent bystander. As the state’s attorney general in 2009, Corbett headed a state investigation into accusations against the revered former coach. Although his office denies it, there are multiple confirmations that Corbett assigned no one from his office to follow up on the charges: just one state trooper, a state trooper “not authorized to bring charges against Sandusky.” In addition, when Corbett was sworn in as governor in 2011, he still had not informed Thae Second Mile Foundation that their founder was under investigation. Instead, as a candidate for governor, he took $650,000 in donations from members of the Second Mile’s unknowing board, even allowing their chairman to hold a fundraiser for his campaign. Upon being elected, Corbett then moved deftly from doing nothing to immediately try to deflect the entire weight of the scandal onto Joe Paterno and Penn State itself, using his recently appointed position as a member of the school’s Board of Trustees (an automatic appointment for all Pennsylvania Governors) to do so.

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3 replies
JIM ISHOO June 23 2014 at 10:26 PM

Why don't they let this bastard rot in prison and throw the key away.

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2 replies
Tom JIM ISHOO June 24 2014 at 11:29 AM

Psst, hey genius. He is in jail.

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stevenjonessales JIM ISHOO June 24 2014 at 1:48 PM

Not too bright are we Jimmy.

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loisyank June 23 2014 at 10:59 PM

Sandusky and his family should forfeit his pension because he abused his position and all of those young boys to whom he gained access as a consequence of his position. He was a serial, sexual predator and should receive no compensation for his "work" during this time. It is obscene to do otherwise.

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JG June 23 2014 at 9:43 PM

I just wonder how Jerrie likes the other end of the *************!

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1 reply
stevenjonessales JG June 24 2014 at 1:48 PM

He is playing catcher now.

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biffcove June 23 2014 at 9:48 PM

This guy is a sick animal!!

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muffin June 23 2014 at 10:17 PM

With just one victim, others may have come forward then. As for reinstating the pensions--he should not re a penny. The pension money should go to the families or ???? Hope he is enjoying his time in prison. What goes around comes around.

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1 reply
muffin muffin June 23 2014 at 10:18 PM

In my haste, I should have said, --he should not receive a penny.

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Frankie June 23 2014 at 9:36 PM

Corbett has got to go!

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3 replies
hanlon1212 June 23 2014 at 11:57 PM

Corbett allowed Sandusky to molest more victims by not prosecutingg him right from the beginning , regardless of why .

Pennsylvanians are best served by voting Corbett out of office.

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1 reply
fine7760 hanlon1212 June 24 2014 at 6:47 AM

Penn State and Joe P. allowed this to continue on. Reporting it to a half ass university police department was not enough. Sandusky's wife shouldn't get a penny either, she knew what was going on or at least should have. This entire story seems rather one sided coming from a Democrat who has no evidence as to what the ex govenor did or didn't do. She just thinks a prosicution should have taken place earlier.

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3 replies
tonden123 June 23 2014 at 9:40 PM

I believe this as much as flying pigs exist....total white wash

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goodgrief61945 June 23 2014 at 11:12 PM

"Sandusky's $4,900-a-month pension be reinstated". Is this some kind of joke??

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