Meehan Calls for Federal Investigation of Penn State Sex Scandal

The 7th District Congressman and former federal prosecutor weighs in on the scandal that now threatens to end the career of legendary Penn State head coach.

As the New York Times is reporting that Penn State University is about to give legendary Head Football Coach Joe Paterno his walking papers for his role in not reporting allegations of sexual abuse, U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA 7) is calling for a federal investigation. Meehan's Seventh Congressional District  includes Haverford, Marple, Newtown, Radnor, Upper Providence, Edgmont, and Middletown townships, Media and Conshohocken and parts of Tredyffrin and Easttown townships.

Former Penn State Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky is accused of sexually molesting young boys who were part of Sandusky's program for under privileged children, held on the Penns State campus. As if the allegations were not disturbing enough, the scandal has quickly spread to others at the university, including Paterno, for failing to report the allegations to police.

Click on the PDF (to the right) to read the 23 count grand jury indictment that has led to the arrest of former Penn State Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the arrests and resignations of two university officials so far. Please note that the PDF contains graphic descriptions of a sexual nature.

In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, Meehan,  a former U.S. Attorney for Southeastern Pennsylvania under President George W. Bush, calls on the Obama Administration to launch an investigation into why the allegations of sexual abuse by former Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky were not immediately reported to law enforcement, instead of University officials.

The statement from Congressman Meehan's office reads:

Today U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan (PA-07) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan regarding the recent allegations of misconduct involving Penn State University. Meehan, a former U.S. Attorney and longtime advocate for safety on college campuses, asked Secretary Duncan to conduct a full investigation into whether federal law was broken in the failure to properly report allegations of sexual abuse.

“These allegations of misconduct are incredibly upsetting and disturbing,” said Meehan. “Aside from the charges against individuals – we need to look at whether a federal law that requires colleges and universities to report crimes on campus was broken. The failure to report the incident in 2002 appears to violate this law and breaks Penn State’s own reporting methods for sexual abuse on campus. Even more upsetting is the fact that had university officials reported this to authorities, additional abuses could have been prevented.”

This is the letter Rep. Meehan sent to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan:

Dear Secretary Duncan,

I share your sentiment that the allegations of misconduct at Pennsylvania State University are heartbreaking. Given the disturbing nature of these allegations, I am writing to respectfully urge you direct the Department of Education to conduct a full investigation into whether federal law was broken in the failure to properly report allegations of sexual abuse at Penn State.

According to grand jury documents made public over the weekend, a graduate student reported to Penn State football coach Joe Paterno that he witnessed assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a minor in the locker room shower in 2002. This report made its way to senior Penn State officials, including Athletic Director Tim Curley, Senior Vice President Gary Schultz, and University President Graham Spanier, though no law enforcement agencies or campus security authorities appear to have been notified. Moreover, in part because the only apparent action taken in response to this allegation was to bar Mr. Sandusky from bringing minor children into the football locker room, serious questions have been raised into the university’s internal response to this matter.

As you know, the Clery Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) requires colleges and universities to prepare, publish and distribute an annual security report  in which there is a disclosure of all criminal offenses reported to campus security authorities or local police agencies. University officials are required to report suspected criminal offenses to campus security authorities. Additionally, each institution of higher education is required to develop and distribute a statement of policy regarding the procedures followed once a sex offense has occurred. Clery Act compliance is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Education.

The failure to report the 2002 allegations would appear to break Penn State’s own reporting methods for sexual abuse on campus. According to the publication “Policies, Safety, & U” at Pennsylvania State University, 2011-2012, the University Police are responsible for compiling the annual report required by 20 USC § 1092(f). The report further states that “this document is prepared by information provided by University Police, local law enforcement agencies surrounding main campus and alternate sites such as, Student Affairs, Residence Life, and the Athletics Department. Each entity provides updated statistical information.”

It is clear that while not all employees have to report crimes to the University Police, under the Clery Act, those who would be considered a “campus security authority” would be required to do so. The grand jury report alleges Sandusky engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a total of 8 boys over a span of years that lasted until 2009. Had the 2002 allegations been properly reported, investigated and disclosed, the later instances of abuse could have been prevented and future victims protected.

Thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this request and your support of a full investigation into possible Clery Act violations at Penn State.


Patrick Meehan

Member of Congress

Penn State has not yet responded to Patch's phone messages and emails.

What do you think?

will ball November 09, 2011 at 08:42 PM
"This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more." - Joe Paterno... funny how "hindsight" would have motivated Paterno, yet the violation of a minor didnt. penn staters pay him a million dollars annually. why theyre defending him tooth and nail is beyond me. not saying he's guilty of anything per se, but its a shame that man of such stature didnt do more at the time.
horseshoe November 09, 2011 at 10:41 PM
Paterno is being dragged into this - does anyone really think the State College Police were not informed earlier ? They need to be the focus of an investigation. Who kept Sandusky protected ? Jail terms please !! Paterno's been picked on for years by this homosexual media because he's a straight arrow, and this is a great moment if they can send him packing under a cloud. As for Meehan, he's used to investigating cookie recipes - pure opportunistic fluff.
will ball November 10, 2011 at 06:43 AM
Not true horshoe. Paterno and the two officials who he reported the incident to protected Sandusky. Think of it this way. If you suspected that an official of a non-profit organization (which is supposed to help children) was suspected of child molestation, would you turn a blind eye to that official or report him/her and launch a full investigation. If you thought that official was innocent, then there's no harm in launching an investigation (because you know him/her will be innocent). But no, thats not what Paterno did. He allowed a monster who was suspected of molesting children to continue to work for an organization which continually surrounds that official by more children. If that were your child, wouldn't you want someone to step in? Is Paterno getting the brunt of it all? Absolutely. But that's because leaders are more accountable than the rest of us. Their actions are monitored more closely than those beneath them. If Paterno wants to cash in a million dollar a year paycheck, then his record needs to be 100% in order to avoid criticism.
Chubby Chef November 10, 2011 at 05:02 PM
I have to agree with Will Ball here. What I find confounding is that fact that so many die hard Penn Staters are willing to ignore the fact that JoPa didnt do much much more concerning this atrocity. Despite his stellar career and affable personality, the great JoPa failed horribly to show true strength of character and unselfish behavior whe. He failed to do all that was possible and not just mandated to protect "our" inncoent children.
Anthony Wayne November 11, 2011 at 02:11 AM
@horshoe It might help if you read the grand jury report.
Jim November 11, 2011 at 07:30 PM
Pat Meehan a fraud! Pat is a bindle stiff.Pat is saying anything so he doesn;t get streeted next election.He;s even been down in Marcus Hook, Making Himself out to be for the working man.Pat is the biggest scab going. He threw plumbing inspectors in jail for taking a ten dollar bill, for lunch.He thinks, he has a shot agaist Casey.Go ahead make are day Paddy Boy.
TE Patch Reader November 11, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Pat Meehan is a fine congressman and a big improvement over Sestak who was nothing more than an Obama enabler.
Jim November 11, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Pat Meehan is a fraud who is pretending to be a friend of the working man.He was trying to take away the retirees social security and medicare. Then he got the reaction of the people and he back tracked like the little girlee man he is!He,s toast come next election,or if he's stupid enough to run agaist Casey,he will be buried!
will ball November 11, 2011 at 09:19 PM
I don't trust anyone who doesn't know the difference between a comma, semi-colon, and an apostrophe.
Jim November 12, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Nice try D.B with trying to avoid the issues,that Pat Meehan is a fake and always will be to the working man! Didn;t anyone in grade school teach you to capitolize you first and last name. will ball
bigben November 12, 2011 at 02:54 AM
Cronyism is rampant so out with all incumbents. Just like we need to clean house in Washington, time to start with a blank slate.
Jim November 12, 2011 at 08:04 AM
The vote that we cast here in America is for a person that is useless regardless of who they are or what party they belong to.The way these stiffs live is far outside the regular working mans realm. Rome was taking without much of a struggle because it had turn into a mound of dung because of all the political scumbags.The only way to get anything done now, is going to have to be a show of violent force from the people, not that force is ever a good thing but the only option we have left.The other way will take to long and won;t work because these Polictians know there protected by the legal system, that they run for there ill gotten gains.
will ball November 12, 2011 at 08:42 AM
You spelled "capitalize" wrong.
will ball November 12, 2011 at 08:44 AM
A show of violent force? Someone who doesn't know the difference between "to" and "too" would have to resort to violence. Most people with low intellect do...
Jim November 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM
I knew that was you will ball, why do you keep side stepping the issue, just like your boy who stuck it to the retirees, Pat Meehan in his the 7th district. You have nothing to defend your boy with so you change the subject. I
Chubby Chef November 12, 2011 at 02:52 PM
I think it odd that Meehan who constantly raises the banner of smaller government and states rights, calls for a "federal" instigation of a criminal "state" matter. Meehan is carpet bagging an issue that is an emotional, hot button issue.
Chubby Chef November 12, 2011 at 02:55 PM
Interesting comment and comparison to decadent Rome. Check out the book, "the Rubicon" which details the demise of the Roman Empire due greatly to the largesse of the Senators and their special interests.
Chubby Chef November 12, 2011 at 02:58 PM
@ will ball. Being pedantic doesn't require any intelligence or further the discussion. Your puerile attempts to inflame Jim show a definitive lack of class and character ( as I've noted before)
JR November 12, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Jim, this isn't a republican vs democratic issue, and this bully (which union are you in ?) mentality does not help to get the facts revealed. I think a federal investigation is a good idea, as the State may not want to dig too deep regarding it"s State university.
Jim November 12, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Penn state is being turned upside down by the Media.Meehen is trying to readjust his image after his vote on S.S. He's a dead duck. It's turned into a global story and Pat is trying to get some good press lately. After His S.S.F.U. he went to Marcus Hook and was posing for Holy Pictures with the refinery workers,where he knew the cameras would be. He's a fraud!
Jim November 12, 2011 at 04:43 PM
I will check out that book chubby chef thanx.
will ball November 13, 2011 at 03:56 AM
"My boy?" To be quite honest, I couldn't give a rat's ass about Meehan. I'm simply pointing out how people won't take you seriously if you misspell simple first grade words.
will ball November 13, 2011 at 04:04 AM
Quite the contrary. By definition "pedantic" requires a high intellect. You should learn the meaning of the word before employing it. In addition, if you look beyond the surface, you should be able to read my intent. For example, I was flabbergasted by Jim's suggestions that we use violent force to overcome our political leaders. It will never happen for people will not overthrow their government unless it's more convenient than living under that government's rule. In other words, it's easier to live beneath our current government rather than to overthrow it.
Chubby Chef November 13, 2011 at 03:16 PM
I'm glad I caused you to look up a word, but you should have ventured further than your "wiki definition". Being pedantic is the unimaginative or unduly emphasized minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledge. You were certainly being a pedant when you criticized jim's capitizations, punctuation, and grammar. Maybe what I should have stated is that being pedantic displays no true intelligence or use of it. Furthermore being aggressively confrontational on this forum does not create an open environment for people to express their differing views. So once again will ball show some class and maturity. As far as violent overthrows, just remember Tom J said the tree of liberty should be refreshed. And Tom wasn't exactly a man of low intellect despite his opposition to big government.
will ball November 13, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Thank you chubby chef for once again proving my point. I know exactly what the word means and by definition, the word requires one to have a high intellect. "Pedantic" describes the presentation of that intelligence. Furthermore, if you would like to be taken seriously on a forum, then you must demonstrate basic spelling and grammar skills. In a way, I'm helping Jim out. And let's not bring "Tom J" into the discussion. For I could provide countless examples of men and women who made a difference without ever picking up a single firearm. There's opposing big government intelligently and then there's inspiring a haphazard hill-billy riot.
Jim November 13, 2011 at 10:50 PM
will you have already drop the ball.Nice try but your dead in the water.
Chubby Chef November 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM
If you're so sure of your intelligence and the correct usage of pedant and pedantic, describe yourself as a pedant if you happen to miraculously find yourself among the intellectual elite. Not likely since you seem to sit on the right side of the fence. But you are giving me pain as from calluses on a mugwump's rear, from just indulging you in any further discussion and I will allow you your petulant last word.
will ball November 14, 2011 at 12:11 AM
will ball November 14, 2011 at 01:34 AM
Looks like we are now one in the same Chubby Chef LULZ
Catherine November 14, 2011 at 02:33 PM
Tom Corbett was Attorney General from 1995 to 1997....and again beginning in 2005. . He brags about his formation of the Pennsylvania "Child Predator Unit".He had to have known about these allegations and the grand jury investigation against Sandusky; it was all going on at the same time. I suspect our Grandfatherly Governor Corbett has hands as dirty as the rest of them.


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