Jerry Sandusky review faults police, prosecutors for delays in investigation
A review into the investigation of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky for sexual abuse determined that the inquiry took too long, said that the “case sat inactive for months while a predator was on the streets and a victim waited for justice” and found no evidence that politics affected the investigation.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane released her findings on Monday, saying it took a year for her office to charge Sandusky because investigative steps were flawed.
“This was a full and fair review,” Kane said. “The facts show an inexcusable lack of urgency in charging and stopping a serial sexual predator. The report documents that more investigative work took place in just one month in 2011 than in all of either 2009 or 2010.”
“The Grand Jury presentment, drafted and supported by the lead prosecutor, sat on someone’s desk for five months. Only after the lead prosecutor repeatedly pushed for an answer, the presentment was denied,” Kane said.”It is unfathomable why there was such a lack of urgency.”
As a result of the Sandusky incident, the Penn State football program vacated its wins from 1998 to 2011 and was stripped of scholarships, fined $60 million and banned from postseason play until 2016.
Last fall, the NCAA agreed to restore the program’s scholarships from its initial cap of 65, starting in the 2014 season. The Nittany Lions will have 75 scholarships this academic year, 80 in 2015-16, and will return to 85 scholarship student-athletes in 2016-17.
More findings from the review:
In March 2010, prosecutor Eshbach circulated a draft presentment that recommended filing multiple charges against Sandusky, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, a felony. But her pleas for a decision were ignored for five months. (See Appendix G.)
In August, five months later, senior leadership at OAG told Eshbach that the case would not proceed without more victims or better corroboration for Victim 1.
The report notes that this was the first time in Eshbach’s career that she had submitted a presentment to her supervisors that had not been approved promptly.
The report found further inaction in 2009, and from August to November 2010, noting that “when Eshbach reported … that her ‘bosses have directed that we try harder to find any other corroboration for [A.F.],’ little investigative activity apparently occurred. Indeed, once Eshbach submitted the draft presentment in March 2010, the only reported investigative activity before the end of August was the offer to Sandusky … to testify in the Grand Jury, … Not only does there appear to have been no concerted effort to identify additional victims, but no witnesses were interviewed and no subpoenas were served. Nor was there apparently any renewed discussion of searching Sandusky’s residence or checking for earlier allegations of misconduct.”