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Archive for Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gov.: Penn St. assistant failed ‘moral obligation’

November 13, 2011

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— The Penn State football coach who told a grand jury that he saw another coach molest a child failed to meet “a moral obligation” to intervene, Pennsylvania’s governor said Sunday, adding that he expects more victims to come forward.

The coach who testified, Mike McQueary, had said he saw retired Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a shower at a campus football facility almost a decade ago. Sandusky is accused of assaulting eight boys over 15 years and has maintained his innocence. The university has put McQueary on leave from his job.

McQueary told the grand jury he was distraught by what he witnessed and walked away after both Sandusky and the boy saw him. He said he told his father what happened and then told head coach Joe Paterno, who reported it to his superiors. But those school officials, athletic director Tim Curley and school vice president Gary Schultz, face perjury charges, accused of covering up McQueary’s 2002 report.

The charges were filed last weekend and the grand jury’s report made public, and the resulting outrage made it clear that Paterno, who had coached for decades at Penn State, would share the blame. He was fired Wednesday. In his last game, a win over Illinois, he’d become the coach with the most wins in Division I history.

As for McQueary, the current attorney general had clearly decided that he was to be treated as a witness in the case, Gov. Tom Corbett said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

McQueary met “the minimum obligation” of reporting what he saw to his superiors, who are required under Pennsylvania law to report such assaults to authorities. But McQueary “did not in my opinion meet a moral obligation that all of us would have,” said the governor, who as attorney general initiated the investigation that led to the charges.

Corbett also said people have to keep in mind “that this is also somebody who is a witness to this crime and is a very important witness.”

State lawmakers from both parties have proposed changes to toughen the law that governs the reporting of sex assaults, Corbett added. He said he would not be surprised to see it strengthened this year.

“We have to make sure the change in the law is one that is effective,” he said.

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