Jerry Sandusky

Judge In Jerry Sandusky Case Seeks Info On Grand Jury Leaks

Oct 29, 2015
Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

BELLEFONTE — The judge handling convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky's appeal ordered Pennsylvania's attorney general on Thursday to provide him and the former Penn State assistant football coach's lawyers any information she might have about possible leaks in the case by state prosecutors and a grand jury judge.

Judge John Cleland gave Attorney General Kathleen Kane one week to provide, under seal, information about "who, what, when and how this information was released."

Navigating New State Background Check Requirements

Aug 11, 2015
Alan Levine / flickr

Following the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal, members of the Pennsylvania legislature introduced a long list of bills intended to keep children safer, forced professionals to better report suspected abuse and make it easier for victims to get help.  While most of those bills never moved out of committee, many of them became laws.  Cathy Utz, deputy secretary for the Office of Children, Youth and Families in the Department of Human Services keeps track of those laws and shares her knowledge on the program.

Casey Chafin / 90.5 WESA

  The first grants from the endowment created with $60 million fine imposed after the Jerry Sandusky scandal are ready to be distributed this fall.

Josh Shapiro, chairman for the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, said child advocacy centers will be the recipients.

A state lawmaker wants to launch an overhaul of the type and number of board members directing Penn State University's Board of Trustees.

In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, 31 Penn State alumni ran for three seats on the board. Months later, the new group approved changes in the make up of the board to allow for more student and staff representation.

Pennsylvania Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), who received his bachelor's and master's degrees from PSU in 1993 and 2004, respectively, said this week those measures aren't enough.

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

A poll says Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly want Penn State to put back a statue of former football coach Joe Paterno that was removed after Jerry Sandusky's child molestation conviction.

The Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday said the majority — 59 percent to 25 percent — favored restoring the statue to a prominent place on campus.

Pennsylvanians also strongly support a recent deal between Penn State and the NCAA that restored 112 wins to the football team and Paterno's status as winningest coach in major college football.

State Supreme Court Suspends McCaffery

Oct 23, 2014
PA National Guard / Flickr

The state Supreme Court has suspended one of its own, Justice Seamus McCaffery, with pay. The suspension is a response to McCaffery's admitted exchange of sexually explicit emails with people in the state attorney general's office, among other things. 90.5 WESA's capitol correspondent Mary Wilson provides an update from Harrisburg.

College sports' governing body says it is willing to let Pennsylvania control the $60 million fine Penn State is paying over its handling of the Jerry Sandusky molestation scandal.

The NCAA on Friday asked Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Sen. Jake Corman and Treasurer Rob McCord.

The NCAA says that if Covey agrees, it also will move to end a federal lawsuit against McCord, Gov. Tom Corbett and others that challenges a 2013 state law requiring the money to remain within Pennsylvania.

The Penn State University (PSU) Board of Trustees will meet 8 a.m. Wednesday by phone to discuss a potential settlement of a lawsuit between state officials and the NCAA over the use of the $60 million fine PSU was ordered to pay in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

In 2012, PSU consented to a number of sanctions imposed by the NCAA in response to attempts by high-ranking university officials to hide Sandusky’s molestation of young boys. The consent decree included a $60 million fine to be used for programs for the protection of children.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane released a report Monday regarding Tom Corbett's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse investigation when he was Attorney General. Patriot News opinions editor John Micek talked about how the findings of Kane's office could impact Governor Corbett's chances of re-election.

The Attorney General’s report found no evidence of Corbett mishandling the investigation due to political influence. Micek said even though the report was issued well before voting begins, for Corbett's re-election campaign, the report may hurt his chances in the polls.

A long-awaited review of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case has exonerated Republican Gov. Tom Corbett of suggestions the investigation was slowed by political calculations. But state Attorney General Kathleen Kane says she still sees flaws in the prosecution and is openly inviting speculation on how it was handled.

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.

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

A plethora of legislation was proposed in the aftermath of the Sandusky Penn State sex abuse case. One of the most comprehensive bills is expected to pass this week.

Senate Bill 21 will broaden the scope of mandated reporters when it comes to child abuse – and hold them more accountable.

Mandated reporters are those who have contact with children, anyone from a public library employee to clergy to a medical examiner. These reporters would be required to alert law enforcement when they suspect a child is being abused.

Proposals to change how suspected child abuse must be reported in Pennsylvania are nearing the finish line after stalling for several months.

Two measures are awaiting final votes in the House and Senate to clarify who must report child abuse and how they should do it. But a plan that originated in the state Senate would now exclude lawyers from the list of people who will be mandated reporters, after House lawmakers voiced concerns about breaching attorney-client privilege: should lawyers be mandated reporters if filing a complaint could violate the trust of their client?

A day after Penn State announced the selection of Eric Barron as its new president, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, are responding to his statement that patience is needed.

At an event announcing his appointment, Barron was asked what the proper role he sees for the legacy of former Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno.

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane is being pressed for answers on when she’ll wrap up an investigation of the prosecution of Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State assistant football coach and convicted child molester.

The internal review began a year ago when Kane hired an outside deputy attorney general, Geoff Moulton, to helm the investigation. Kane told the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday that releasing findings will take more time, since document recovery and scheduling interviews have slowed down the review.

Penn State’s Board of Trustees came under fire as a result of the Jerry Sandusky scandal two years ago.

Now, State Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) introduced legislation Friday that would shrink the size of board from 30 voting members to 23.

Under the new bill, the board would be made up of 8 elected alumni, five gubernatorial appointees, five members from the agriculture industry and five members from the business industry. The legislation would also prohibit the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and all state row officers from being on the board.

Work still remains for state lawmakers on child protection legislation, in spite of the slew of bills signed by the governor last week.

The 10 proposals are the result of more than a year of work to tighten up the state’s child protection laws.

Central to the effort was a proposal to re-write the state’s legal definition of child abuse to make it less vague.

But Bucks County District Attorney Dave Heckler says there’s more to come.

Pennsylvania enacted its first new laws Wednesday in the Legislature's wide-ranging response to the Jerry Sandusky and Roman Catholic clergy child sexual abuse scandals, a step that expands the nearly 20-year-old playbook for how caseworkers and investigators can handle reports of child abuse.

Making Child Abuse Easier to Define in Pennsylvania

Dec 9, 2013
90.5 WESA

The Pennsylvania Senate could be voting on legislation this week to overhaul the state's child abuse laws.

Three Senate committees have advanced six bills, the most important of which would change the definition of what constitutes child abuse, making it tougher and bringing it into line with the standards used in many other states.

The new wording would include, “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to a child.” It also lists a number of acts that would constitute abuse, such as kicking, burning or forcefully shaking or striking a child less than one year old.

The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees would be decreased from 30 voting members to 23 under legislation unveiled by state Sens. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne County) and John Corman (R-Centre County).

Yudichak said, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the school is facing its greatest challenge.

Penn State officials say they are gratified by the NCAA's decision to gradually restore football scholarships taken from the school following the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

President Rodney Erickson called the news particularly welcome to student athletes who want to attend Penn State "and will now have the means to do so."

College sports' governing body said Tuesday that the school has made significant changes to its athletics programs and cited the recommendation of former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, who's been serving as the programs' integrity monitor.

Former Penn State Adminstrators to Stand Trial

Jul 31, 2013

Following two days of preliminary hearings, Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley will go to trial in what has been called the worst scandal in college football history. Bob Dvorchak, author of the book “Game Over” has written about the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case, and says this is not at all a surprise.

Penn State's ex-president and two former top school administrators were ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges accusing them of a cover-up in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Prosecutors showed enough evidence during a two-day preliminary hearing to warrant a full criminal court trial for ex-President Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley, Judge William Wenner concluded.

Wenner called it "a tragic day for Penn State University."

Nearly eight months ago, then state Auditor General Jack Wagner issued a long list of recommendations that he thought would provide for more oversight of the operation of Penn State University. Most of those recommendations have not been adopted, but Democrats in the state Senate are pushing to change that.

“We are calling upon our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to have that conversation with us over the course summer and the fall,” said Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny).

Defending Joe Paterno and Challenging the Freeh Report

Jun 6, 2013
Dominic McDevit / Wikipedia


Former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh feels former FBI director Louis Freeh's investigation of the Jerry Sandusky abuse case was not conclusively supported by evidence. The Penn State case marked the first time the NCAA punished an institution solely for transgressions related to a criminal matter.

The family of former coach Joe Paterno and other plaintiffs sued the NCAA last week, accusing the organization of intentionally defaming and commercially disparaging them through the imposition of sanctions against Penn State.

A federal judge on Thursday threw out the governor's lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions against Penn State related to Jerry Sandusky, calling his argument "a Hail Mary pass" that easily warranted dismissal.

U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane's decision puts an early end to the anti-trust lawsuit Gov. Tom Corbett filed in January in which he sought to overturn a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship limits and other penalties.

State AG: Culture of Corruption 'Won’t Ever Be Eliminated'

Apr 18, 2013

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane doesn’t believe it’s possible to rid the state of corruption, but her office is working to set an example to public officials through prosecution.  

In an interview today with 90.5 WESA's  Essential Pittsburgh program, Kane discussed the scandal in the Turnpike Commission.

The widow of longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno says she and her husband were ignorant about sexual predators like Jerry Sandusky.

Speaking at a child-abuse prevention program, Sue Paterno says she and her husband sometimes unknowingly helped Sandusky "groom" the boys he abused, believing he was helping them find a better life.

Paterno says she was horrified to learn Sandusky sexually abused several young boys.

For months, the criminal case against three former Penn State administrators accused of covering up abuse complaints about Jerry Sandusky has been in limbo while a judge considered their request to have the case thrown out.

Judge Barry Feudale's ruling against Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley could clear the way for a district judge to finally conduct the preliminary hearing that had once been scheduled for last December.

Penn State says Jerry Sandusky's assertion that a key witness misinterpreted his showering with a young boy continues to "open wounds" for his victims.

Excerpts of Sandusky's interview with a documentary filmmaker were broadcast Monday on NBC's "Today" show. The former Penn State assistant football coach says he doesn't understand how Mike McQueary concluded "sex was going on" when he witnessed the shower incident in 2001.