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Published: Wednesday, 11/9/2011

Pennsylvania governor expected to break silence

Aide says Corbett 'much involved' in sex-scandal probe

BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE
associated pressPenn State football coach Joe Paterno leaves a campus building. A poll Tuesday found mixed support for him. associated pressPenn State football coach Joe Paterno leaves a campus building. A poll Tuesday found mixed support for him.
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PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett plans to attend the meeting Friday of Penn State University's board of trustees and will probably speak publicly about the child sex-abuse scandal in the upcoming days.

His press secretary, Kevin Harley, said Tuesday that Mr. Corbett has so far withheld comment partly because he formerly directed the investigation as the state's attorney general, the job he held before he was sworn in as governor in January.

Mr. Harley said the governor has been "very much involved" in the Penn State matter this week but won't divulge discussions with other trustees.

That was one development Tuesday in the continuing investigation of allegations that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused eight boys between 1995 and 2009 whom he met through his charity, the Second Mile.

He has been charged with 40 counts of sexual assault, corruption of minors, and other crimes. Mr. Sandusky's preliminary hearing on the charges has been rescheduled for Dec. 7.

Two school administrators, athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz, are charged with lying to a grand jury and not properly reporting the suspected abuse. Lawyers for the three men said they're innocent.

Also Tuesday, reports surfaced that although Mr. Sandusky, after an alleged incident in 2002, was banned from bringing children to the Penn State campus, he continued to run football camps through his business, Sandusky Associates, at several other sites.

Those camps took place as recently as 2008 at Penn State's Behrend campus outside Erie, as well as at Robert Morris University and Allentown's Muhlenberg College. Officials at those schools say no inappropriate incidents were reported occurring while their facilities hosted the athletic camps.

"At no time did any camp staff witness any misconduct," Muhlenberg spokesman Mike Falk said. "At no time did Mr. Sandusky or any campers leave the area. There were dozens of parents and families in the stands and around the field throughout the day."

Robert Morris spokesman Jonathan Potts said Sandusky Associates ran a one-day linebacker camp at the school in May, 2008, and had access only to outdoor football and soccer fields.

State business records list Mr. Sandusky as president of Sandusky Associates and show the business as dissolving in December.

The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reported Tuesday that another victim came forward to state investigators over the weekend.

Citing a state police lieutenant based in Montoursville, the newspaper said the alleged victim is now in his 20s and living in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.

State police Lt. David Young declined to give the newspaper any details. A state police spokesman in Harrisburg and a spokesman for the attorney general's office both declined to confirm or deny Lieutenant Young's report of a ninth victim in the case. In Washington, U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, a Republican, asked Arne Duncan, U.S. education secretary, to investigate whether federal law was broken in the failure to properly report the allegations of sexual abuse.

Mr. Meehan is a former U.S. attorney and a longtime advocate for safety on college campuses.

"These allegations of misconduct are incredibly upsetting and disturbing," he said. "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. The failure to report the incident in 2002 appears to violate this law and breaks Penn State's own reporting methods for sexual abuse on campus."

Some of the charges against Mr. Sandusky concern allegations that in 2002, a Penn State graduate assistant saw him sexually assaulting a boy in a shower at the football building on campus. Top school officials say they weren't told about the seriousness of the matter.

In Harrisburg, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, a Republican, said Graham Spanier, Penn State president, should lose his job unless a clear explanation is made for why university officials didn't report the allegations.

Finally, a poll of Pennsylvania residents released Tuesday showed mixed support for Mr. Spanier and head coach Joe Paterno.

In the KDKA-TV News Poll conducted by SurveyUSA, 51 percent of respondents following the story said Mr. Spanier should resign, 28 percent said he should not, and 21 percent were not sure.

Asked whether Mr. Paterno should resign, 40 percent said yes, 45 percent said no, and 15 percent were unsure.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Information from The Blade's news services was used in this report.



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