The Jerry Sandusky sexual assault scandal at Penn State University has resulted in a fall from grace for a storied football program, a legendary coach and coaching staff and severe penalties and sanctions for those involved. Just today, the NCAA announced that it is fining the Nittany Lions $60 million for the sex crimes coverup and banning the football team from postseason play for 4 years, among others.
Former Penn State Assistant Football Coach Jerry Sandusky insists that he is innocent despite a jury finding him guilty on 45 of 48 counts of sex offenses against 10 boys over the course of 15 years. Sixty-eight-year-old Sandusky is now in jail, awaiting sentencing. He was placed on suicide watch and held away from other prisoners while awaiting a psychological review.
Schools and universities throughout the country have been reevaluating their policies for reporting sex abuse and misconduct in the wake of the Penn State and Syracuse sex scandals. One school administrator began a program years ago that other schools could replicate to ease the process of reporting inappropriate behavior.
The U.S. Department of Education has started its investigation into the crime-reporting at Penn State following the sex abuse scandal on campus. Investigators are trying to determine whether the failure to report the alleged sexual assault and rape violated federal laws, including the Clery Act.
Advocates for children victims have made strong calls to strengthen sexual abuse and sexual assault reporting laws. While there are mandatory reporting law for certain individuals, many higher education universities have internal law enforcement officers who report to administrative officials, rather than local district attorney's offices.
This post is the second part of the series about the Penn State sex abuse scandal and college reporting requirements. This blog post will explain how colleges and universities have independent law enforcement officers who have discretion to report to district attorneys.
The alleged sexual abuse by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has rocked the Penn State community and has led to a huge controversy about the duty to report possible sex offenses.