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AG Kane releases report on Sandusky investigation

Updated: Monday, June 23 2014, 07:18 PM EDT

Reported By: Gary Sinderson
Written By: Marc Stempka

HARRISBURG -- The long-awaited report by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office regarding the handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation has been completed, with Gov. Tom Corbett, who was the attorney general at the time the Sandusky investigation launched, taking center stage.

The report offers some answers to many outstanding questions, including why it took three years for Sandusky to be arrested and whether or not any politics played a role in why it took years for the investigation to happen.

The report, completed by Special Deputy Attorney General H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr., cleared Corbett of using the case to his advantage, but Attorney General Kathleen Kane said there were several missteps in the prosecution.

The report, more than 150 pages long, generally concludes the attorney general's office could have done a better job of handling the investigation from 2008-2011 and could have done so in a more timely manner.

The report showed prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach was ready to file charges in 2010 after investigators interviewed one of Sandusky's victims through 2008 and 2009.

The victim was identified at trial as victim one, who later revealed himself as Aaron Fisher. He was a Central Mountain High School student at the time the abuse occurred.

"[The] decision in 2010 to not charge based on the evidence available at the time was made by then Attorney General Tom Corbett," Moulton said. "It was based on the collective advice of the people above Ms. Eshbach in the chain of command, all of whom apparently disagreed with her assessment. They all recommended to then Attorney General Tom Corbett that the case not go forward at that time."

Corbett and other prosecutors opted to take the investigation to a statewide grand jury, in hopes of finding additional victims, the report said.

The investigation picked up steam in 2010, after a Centre County prosecutor received a tip about a Penn State assistant football coach having more information about the case.

"Then on Nov. 3, the Centre County District Attorney, Stacy Parks Miller, received an  email saying investigators should talk to Mike McQueary, that he had information that was relevant the investigation," Moulton said.

During Kane's campaign for AG in 2012, she said the delay in charging Sandusky could be politically related, but Monday, she said it was not.

"This report found no direct evidence, no email, no confession, no statement from anybody, indicating that they were told to slow this down because of politics," Kane said. "This report also shows long periods of inexcusable, and by inexcusable I mean even the parties involved couldn't offer an excuse for the delays, and delays that quite honestly are unfathomable to most of us. Why those delays took place, we don't have the answer to that."

Kane said during the media conference's question and answer session that two more reports of child abuse at the hands of Sandusky were reported to have happened in March 2009 during the investigation.

"If he was in jail, of course there wouldn't be more victims," Kane said.

Those two victims have declined to prosecute at the present time, Kane said.

Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin had harsh words to the investigators about their handling of the case.

"Two more children that we know of were victimized while this case was being sat on," Conklin said. "The same information they said would be stale in 2009 is the same information they used in 2011. I think this is a case study in how not to do a sexual abuse case for children."

During the press conference, Kane thanked prosecutors and investigators who worked on the case, and didn't make any direct statements against Corbett.

Corbett released a statement following the report's release, standing by his department's investigation.

"As I have said many times, this investigation was conducted appropriately and timely.  Because of the complexity of the case and for the sake of the victims, the investigators were careful to explore all evidence to the fullest extent," Corbett said. "As made clear by the Moulton Report, this investigation was never about politics. It was always about the people victimized by this man."

Corbett said he appreciated Moulton's professional approach to the report.

"I am proud of the hard work of men and women who joined in the effort to support and fight for these victims.  It was, however, difficult to see their motives and professionalism called in to question." Corbett said. "The release of this report reaffirms the integrity of their efforts. It refutes each aspect of the case that the attorney general and others have questioned; has found no evidence of deliberate delay; and underscores the importance and appropriateness of the methods used in the investigation and subsequent conviction of a child predator."

The cost of the report was nearly $180,000.

AG Kane releases report on Sandusky investigation

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