- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 16, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA. (AP) - A former Pennsylvania county prosecutor said Tuesday he referred a report of alleged child sexual abuse by former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in 2009 to state prosecutors because of an “indirect connection” to Sandusky’s family.

Former Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira told The Associated Press that he cited the apparent conflict of interest in passing the case to the state attorney general’s office headed, at the time by now Gov. Tom Corbett.

Madeira declined to specify the tie to the Sandusky family.

“I reviewed it and I made the decision it needed to be investigated further,” Madeira told the AP in a phone interview. “But the apparent conflict of interest created an impediment for me to those kinds of decisions.”


Now in private practice, Madeira was Centre County’s top prosecutor from 2005 to 2009, when he lost a re-election campaign to Stacy Parks Miller.

The case initially brought to Madeira is referred to in the 23-page grand jury report as “Victim 1.” That report said the witness testified about instances of abuse that began in 2007, and that Sandusky had contact with the witness at a high school Clinton County, just north of Centre.

Madeira said the case was then referred to him by Clinton County prosecutors in early 2009 after a determination that allegations mainly occurred in Centre County. He said he was not aware of any previous allegations, including those reported in 1998 and 2002, and that he had no further contact with the investigation after referring it to the attorney general’s office.

“These kinds of things are serious to me,” Madeira said when asked his reaction when he heard about the charges announced Nov. 5. “Instantly saddened, deeply saddened, with the regards to the number of alleged victims.”

In hindsight, Madeira said, the state grand jury was the right jurisdiction to handle the case since two counties were involved, and allegations spanned years.

The grand jury report detailed a 1998 investigation by Penn State police, begun after an 11-year-old boy’s mother complained that Sandusky had showered with her son in the football facilities. Then-District Attorney Ray Gricar declined to file charges.

Gricar was the DA before Madeira took office. Gricar went missing in April 2005, and investigators have said they don’t believe there’s a connection between his disappearance and the decision to not charge Sandusky.

“I don’t know what was in the report that Ray saw,” Madeira said. “Unless we know different, it’s unfair to suggest that Ray didn’t do something that he should have done because I don’t know what he had in front of him. He’s the one who talked to the victims. He saw the other portions of the investigation that I am not privy to.”

Gricar was declared legally dead earlier this year.