- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Editorials from around Pennsylvania:

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KANE REPORT ON SANDUSKY INVESTIGATION PRODUCES NO BOMBSHELL, BUT …

Kathleen Kane ran and won her race for attorney general in part by promising to see whether Tom Corbett slow-walked the Jerry Sandusky investigation to help his winning campaign for governor.

A year and a half later, the answer to that potentially explosive question is a resounding, definitive “no.”

It was a reasonable question to ask, given public skepticism about the case, and Kane’s investigator, Geoffrey Moulton, has given it a fair answer.

His exhaustive report indicates that questionable decisions in handling of the case, not politics, explains much of why three years elapsed between Victim A.F.’s report to authorities and the criminal charges against Sandusky.

In the end, instead of producing a political bombshell, the Kane-Moulton report is a helpful exercise in “lessons learned.”

In coming to that conclusion, Moulton was mindful of how hindsight can produce 20-20 vision. He evaluated decisions based on what investigators knew then, not what we all know now.

But as the report notes, some of the investigative team’s decisions were puzzling and “difficult to defend.”

The reasons for holding off so long on searching Sandusky’s house, the report says, were hardly compelling. Executing such searches relatively early, the report notes, is a good way to produce leads to other victims.

It took five months for higher-ups to answer a simple question from the lead prosecutor: Are we going forward with a case involving just one victim or do we dig harder to find more victims? During that five months, the investigation ground to a halt.

Most mystifying of all - why didn’t investigators check sooner with police at State College and Penn State about other potential reports involving Sandusky? That step was the one that broke the case wide open. It led investigators to a troubling 1998 incident that was reported but not prosecuted and eventually revealed four more victims.

In the end, instead of producing a political bombshell, the Kane-Moulton report is a helpful exercise in “lessons learned.”

In cases like this, where a single victim emerges to accuse a “pillar of the community,” one lesson is that investigators should plan from the start to search long and hard for other victims. Child predators like Sandusky seldom limit their odious offenses to a single victim.

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