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Pa. official: Penn St. victims should come forward
Question of the Day
HARRISBURG, PA. (AP) - Investigators on Monday encouraged anyone who would accuse former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky of sexual assault to step forward and talk to police.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly specifically asked that a child reportedly assaulted by Sandusky in view of a graduate student to call detectives about the 2002 encounter. She also said the university’s longtime football coach, Joe Paterno, is not a target of the investigation into how the school handled the accusations.
Kelly spoke at a news conference Monday, two days after child sexual abuse charges were filed against Sandusky and about an hour before two high-ranking Penn State administrators were to face arraignment on charges they lied to a grand jury and failed to properly report suspected child abuse by the ex-football coach.
Late Sunday, after an emergency meeting of the board of trustees, university President Graham Spanier announced that Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the school’s senior vice president for business and finance, would be leaving their posts.
Curley requested to be placed on administrative leave so he could devote time to his defense, and Schultz will be going back into retirement, Spanier said. Both men have maintained they are innocent of any wrongdoing in connection with the probe into whether Sandusky sexually abused eight boys _ preteens and young teenagers _ over a 15-year period.
State Attorney General Linda Kelly and state police Commissioner Frank Noonan were expected to hold a 1 p.m. Monday news conference about the case a few miles from the Harrisburg court where Curley and Schultz will be arraigned. The proceeding is scheduled for immediately after that.
Sandusky was arrested Saturday on charges that he preyed on boys he met through The Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youths. The charity said in a statement Sunday that Sandusky has had no involvement with its programs involving children since 2008, when Sandusky told the foundation that he was being investigated on child-sex allegations.
The case has rocked State College, a campus town routinely ranked among America’s best places to live and nicknamed Happy Valley. Under Paterno _ who testified before the grand jury and isn’t considered a suspect _ the teams were revered both for winning games, including two national championships, and largely steering clear of trouble.
In a statement issued Sunday, Paterno called the charges shocking.
“The fact that someone we thought we knew might have harmed young people to this extent is deeply troubling,” he said. “If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers.”
Sandusky spent three decades at the school running the defense. The charges against him cover the period from 1994 to 2009.
Sandusky, who is married and has six adopted children with his wife, Dottie, retired in 1999 but continued to use the school’s facilities. University officials said Sunday they were moving to ban him from campus in the wake of the charges.
Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office, told The Associated Press on Sunday that it was premature to discuss whether Paterno might testify at trial.
“That’s putting the cart way ahead of the horse,” he said. “We’re certainly not going to be discussing the lineup of potential witnesses.”
The allegations against Sandusky, who started The Second Mile in 1977, range from sexual advances to touching to oral and anal sex. The young men testified before a state grand jury that they were in their early teens when some of the abuse occurred; there is evidence even younger children may have been victimized.
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