Guest editorial…Feds must probe Penn State scandal

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A federal investigation is needed to investigate the allegations of child sexual abuse at Penn State.

The state’s criminal investigation and an internal investigation by a newly formed investigative committee formed by the university’s board of trustees will not be enough.

Penn State has one of the country’s largest and most loyal bases. The university’s football program has brought in millions of dollars in television broadcast rights, merchandising and more.

It clearly appears that the success of the university’s football program hampered an investigation into allegations of child sex abuse.

Rep. Patrick Meehan is right to call on the Department of Education to investigate the horrific allegations of abuse. Other congressman should join in the call for a federal investigation.

Meehan a former U.S. prosecutor makes a strong case for a federal investigation:

“Aside from the charges against individuals—we need to look at whether a federal law that requires colleges and universities to report crimes on campus was broken,” said Meehan in a statement. “The failure to report the incident in 2002 appears to violate this law and break Penn State’s own reporting methods for sexual abuse on campus. Even more upsetting is the fact that had university officials reported this to authorities, additional abuses could have been prevented.”

Authorities alleged that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused young boys and that university officials, including legendary football coach Joe Paterno has been warned years about what was supposedly happening and never informed police.

Paterno and University President Graham Spanier have lost their jobs. Athletic Director Tim Curley and senior vice president Gary Schultz face perjury charges for failing to report an incident of abuse in 2002 to authorities.

But this case involves more than the alleged criminal act of one individual. So far the school’s athletic director and vice president have both been charged with perjury and The New York Times reported on its website late Monday that close to 10 additional suspected victims have come forward to authorities since Sandusky’s arrest, according to people close to the investigation. The paper said police were working to confirm the new allegations.

In a letter sent to Education Secretary Arne Duncan Meehan noted that: “The grand jury report alleges Sandusky engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a total of eight boys over a span of years that lasted until 2009. Had the 2002 allegations been properly reported, investigated and disclosed, the latter instances of abuse could have been prevented and future victims protected.”

(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune.)

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