Feds Seek to Punish Penn State in Sandusky Sex Scandal

penn-state-newsAfter a five-year investigation into Penn State University’s handling of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young athletes, the federal government seeks to fine the university $2.4 million.

The federal investigation found 11 serious violations of federal law requiring crimes on college and university campuses to be reported.

“For colleges and universities to be safe spaces for learning and self-development, institutions must ensure student safety — a part of which is being transparent about incidents on their campuses. Disclosing this information is the law,” Ted Mitchell, U.S. undersecretary of education, said in a statement. “When we determine that an institution is not upholding this obligation, then there must be consequences.”

Among the violations, Penn State failed issue timely warnings of threats to the campus and a failure to keep an accurate and complete daily crime log. One finding — a “failure to properly classify reported incidents and disclose crime statistics from 2008 to 2011” — carried a recommended fine of more than $2.1 million.

Sandusky is appealing his conviction which found him guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.  Sandusky was convicted on the testimony of eight other boys and Michael McQueary, a former football player and graduate assistant at Penn State. McQueary testified that he had told administrators that he saw the ex-coach having sex with a boy who appeared to be eight to 10 years old.

The Sandusky scandal has tainted the reputation of the university as well as now deceased former head football coach Joe Paterno.  The appeal is likely to dredge up more media attention on the school’s shoddy handling of the sexual abuse allegations and the supervision of Sandusky himself while he was a coach and mentor to local minors.

Dumas Law Group has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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