Report: 'Inexplicable Delays,' No political interference in Sand - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Report: 'Inexplicable Delays,' No political interference in Sandusky case

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Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, left, and his wife Dottie Sandusky in 2011. AP photo Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, left, and his wife Dottie Sandusky in 2011. AP photo


(NBC News) - There were “inexplicable delays” in prosecuting former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky on child abuse charges the state’s attorney general says, but an investigation released Monday found no evidence of political interference by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett while he was state attorney general.

The report, compiled by former federal prosecutor Geoffrey Moulton and released by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office, found that decisions made at the outset of the probe in 2009, and throughout 2010 and 2011, led to “inexplicable delays in bringing a serial child molester to justice.''

It noted that it took a full year, from March 2009 until March 2010, for the office to recommend charging Sandusky because basic investigative steps were not taken, including searching Sandusky's home.

Then, in March 2010, veteran prosecutor Jonelle Eshbach circulated a draft presentment that recommended filing multiple charges against Sandusky, based on statements by an alleged victim, who later became known as “Victim 1” during Sandusky’s trial, and other corroborating evidence. That was more than a year and a half before he was arrested.

But her supervisors in the attorney general's office overruled her, believing testimony of a lone victim would be ``insufficient against a community icon like Sandusky'' and that a failed prosecution would make it difficult to proceed if other victims came forward, the report said.

They wanted investigators to find more victims, despite fears that a delay could allow Sandusky to create more victims, it said.

At a press conference on Monday, Attorney General Kathleen Kane said that Sandusky apparently did continue to prey on boys while the case against him was being investigated.

"Two individuals have indicated they were abused by Sandusky in the fall of 2009," Kane said.

The report noted that the investigation was delayed as well by difficulty getting documents from The Second Mile, a charity for troubled youth that Sandusky ran and from which he recruited some victims, and from Penn State, which did not turn over a police report involving a 1998 child sex abuse incident. Investigators say finding that report led to the discovery of four more victims.

But it found no direct evidence that political directives drove any of the decisions made throughout the investigation.

The 70-year-old Sandusky, longtime Penn State defensive coach, met most of his victims through The Second Mile, a charity he established in 1977 to assist underprivileged and at-risk youth.

Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in June 2012 and sentenced later that year to 30 to 60 years in prison. A subsequent bid for a retrial was denied.

He is serving his sentence at Pennsylvania’s SCI Greene “supermax” prison.

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