Pa. attorney general says Paterno followed reporting statute

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HARRISBURG -- Speaking publicly for the first time since her office announced charges against three high-ranking Penn State officials in a case centered around the sexual abuse of children, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly drew a distinction between the university's football coach and its president.

The charges that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted at least eight children and accusations that two administrators failed to report the incidents to law enforcement raised questions about the responsibility of university president Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno.

Ms. Kelly described Mr. Paterno, who was told of at least one incident by a graduate assistant, as being "cooperative" with prosecutors. He is not viewed as a target at this point, she said.

"Mr. Paterno has been interviewed by the investigators -- you can see that he has testified in the grand jury, that he reported this to individuals in the administration ... as far as what occurred that night," Ms. Kelly said.

She added: "We believe that under the statute he had a responsibility to report it to school administrators, and he did that."

Similar inquires about the fate of Penn State's president, who according to prosecutors and the grand jury presentment approved of athletic director Tim Curley's and vice president Gary Schultz's decision to ban Mr. Sandusky from using university facilities, garnered only a brief response.

"This is an on-going continuing investigation," Ms. Kelly said.

According to The Associated Press, Mr. Curley and Mr. Schultz surrendered this afternoon for arraignment in Dauphin County. The two men are facing two counts each of perjury and failure to report a crime.

Mr. Sandusky, whose alleged crimes are said to have occurred in Centre County, will be prosecuted there. He's awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday.


Laura Olson: lolson@post-gazette.com or 717-787-4254.


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