Sunday, November 13, 2011

Penn State: Federal Government Investigates Cover-Up

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating whether the Penn State cover-up violated a federal law, called the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

The law was named for a Lehigh University student who was raped and killed in 1986.Under its provisions, universities nationwide have been found in violation and fined for a variety of failures to report, including six just this year. But none of them has had to deal with the kind of firestorm Penn State now faces, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

According to the grand jury, graduate-assistant football coach Mike McQueary witnessed Jerry Sandusky allegedly sexually assaulting a boy in the shower of the Penn State locker room. The sexaul assault was reported to football coach Joe Paterno, who in turn told athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, who then told Graham Spanier, the school's president.

No one ever called police, not the assistant coach, head coach, athletic director, vice-president or university president.

According to the Post-Gazette, violations of the Clery Act are investigated by the student aid office of the Education Department. The penalties range from a fine of up to $27,500 for each violation to suspension of federal financial aid to the school.

Should the investigation uphold the grand jury's conclusions, Penn State is likely to found in violation of the federal law.

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