From The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Sandusky investigation was reasonable, report finds
Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis, Inquirer Staff Writers | Last updated: Monday, June 23, 2014, 1:07 AM | Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2014, 10:48 PM
A report into the three-year investigation of serial sex abuser Jerry Sandusky found that prosecutors, facing a shaky initial witness, had reason to take their time to build a case with multiple victims, according to sources familiar with the document.Though raising questions about delays in the inquiry, the report, scheduled to be released Monday, does not fault prosecutors for using a grand jury to investigate Sandusky, the sources said. It also found no evidence that politics or a lack of resources influenced the investigation.
The report notes prosecutors from the state Attorney General’s Office felt strongly that testimony from the first boy to accuse Sandusky would likely not have been enough to convict the former assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University.
It does question some decisions along the way. For instance, it notes that prosecutors took too long to take certain investigative steps, including gathering reports on Sandusky from other law enforcement agencies, the sources said.
The report was commissioned and will be released by Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, who was elected in 2012 largely on a campaign that questioned whether one of her predecessors in the job, Gov. Corbett, deliberately slowed the investigation for political purposes.
In her bid for office, Kane said, “Instead of using a grand jury in the Jerry Sandusky case, I would have had him arrested after the first victims came forward.”
Kane, a Democrat, suggested that Corbett, a Republican, delayed the probe to avoid angering voters and donors. Politics, she told the editorial board of one newspaper, “probably” drove his decisions.
“You don’t put a case like that before the grand jury,” she said. “That was the leadership. Somebody made that decision that they’re going to drag that out.”
However, the review by former federal prosecutor Geoffrey Moulton concludes it was reasonable for prosecutors to build a case with many victims, the sources said. The Moulton report notes that the first victim to come forward had difficulty talking about his abuse, to police or a grand jury, and would often give only one-word replies when questioned about Sandusky’s attacks.
More at the link.1 Normally, I would not have quoted quite as extensively, but I wanted to get all of the important parts documented. Simply put, the prosecutor Attorney General Kane selected wound up saying that Mrs Kane’s statement that she “would have had him arrested after the first victims came forward” might well have destroyed the case.
And that part was already known! Jerry Sandusky had faced child molestation charges in 1998, but the Centre County District Attorney didn’t proceed because he had only one complainant, and, as we reported earlier, he was not seen as credible enough on which to base a case; Mr Sandusky would probably have been acquitted had the 1998 case gone forward.
The lovely Mrs Kane has been, in effect, found guilty of the very charges she leveled at Governor Corbett. She claimed, in her 2012 election campaign, that then-Attorney General Corbett politicized the case by delaying it, in order to win the 2010 gubernatorial race, something the report states no evidence has been found. Now it turns out that Mrs Kane is the one who was wrong, and she was the one who politicized the case to win her election.
Your Editor, of course, is a conservative Republican, and could be charged as being biased against Mrs Kane. But even the editors of The Philadelphia Inquirer, a newspaper which consistently supports Democrats, editorialized that Mrs Kane’s stories keep changing, and now Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, a Democrat, is convening a grand jury to pursue the charges on a sting case Mrs Kane dramatically dropped against Democratic officials. Even Tom Wolfe, now the Democratic nominee challenging Governor Corbett for re-election, said that Mrs Kane was wrong to drop that investigation.
Kathleen Kane is an embarrassment to the Commonwealth as our Attorney General.
- The official report is to be released today; the Inquirer’s story was based on an early report. ↩