“What’s the answer? One of the answers is to allow these victims the right to go to court and file suit against not only the pedophile but the group that employed them … and didn’t do anything,” Abramowitch said.
Abramowitch long fought to get around the legal time limit for victims to sue the Roman Catholic Church for decades-old abuse. In 2005, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected his argument that the suits should go through on grounds the church had concealed the abuse.
In State College, Penn State announced a physician and member of its board of trustees who played football and wrestled for the school would serve as acting athletic director. The school named Dr. David M. Joyner, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and a business consultant, as the interim replacement for Tim Curley.
Curley is on leave as athletic director as he defends himself against criminal charges that he failed to properly alert authorities when told of an allegation of a sexual assault by Sandusky against a child and that he lied to a grand jury. He maintains his innocence.
Joyner’s position on the board, where he has been a trustee since 2000, is being suspended as he takes on the new duties.
Gov. Tom Corbett again defended the pace of the investigation, which he helped launch and oversaw while serving as attorney general until January.
“Could anybody guarantee he wasn’t out there touching children? There are no such guarantees, unless he was sitting in jail,” Corbett, a Republican, said in Philadelphia. “But we did what we thought was in the best interests of the investigation in getting a good case put together.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., introduced a bill that would require all adults to report child abuse and neglect to police or local child protective agencies.
And new details were emerging about how the case ended up in the hands of the state attorney general’s office.
“I reviewed it, and I made the decision it needed to be investigated further,” Madeira said. “But the apparent conflict of interest created an impediment for me to make those kinds of decisions.”
The scandal’s fallout extended to former Pittsburgh Steelers great Franco Harris, whose relationship with a southwestern Pennsylvania racetrack and casino was put on hiatus after he chastised Penn State’s trustees for showing “no courage” for firing coach Joe Paterno, who has not been charged with a crime and is not considered a target of prosecutors.
Harris, who played for Paterno from 1968 to 1971, had recently signed as a spokesman for The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, Pa.
Scolforo reported from Harrisburg. Dale and AP writer Kathy Matheson reported from Philadelphia.
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