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Kane: Sandusky investigation too slow, more victims harmed - abc27 WHTM

Kane: Sandusky investigation too slow, more victims harmed

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett did not intentionally slow down the Jerry Sandusky investigation, as Attorney General candidate Kathleen Kane suggested during her campaign. But it was too slow, according to a newly released report on the Sandusky investigation.

"This report found no direct evidence, no email, no confession statement, from anybody indicating they were told to slow this down because of politics," Kane said at a Monday news conference in the Capitol.

But she followed that statement quickly with the insistence that Sandusky should have been in handcuffs and a jumpsuit sooner, according to the report that she commissioned upon taking over as attorney general.

"This report also shows long periods of inexcusable - and by inexcusable I mean even the parties involved couldn't offer an excuse for the delays," Kane said.

The report, completed by former federal prosecutor and Widener University Associate Professor H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr., provided a timeline of the Sandusky probe.

Key dates that beg the question: what took so long?

- November 2008, Aaron Fisher first accuses Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse.

- March 2009, the attorney general's office gets the case.

- June 2011, Sandusky's home is first searched by law enforcement.

- November 2011 (three years after Fisher allegation) charges are filed.

Moulton blamed early miscommunication between law enforcement and county child service officials and "investigative missteps" like not searching Sandusky's home much sooner. They ultimately found photographs of victims and other clues that cemented their case.

"Had the search been conducted in 2009 or 2010, investigators could have used those photographs and found the names to find victims much earlier than they did," Moulton said.

A bombshell was also dropped during Monday's news conference. Kane was asked if there's any proof that Sandusky continued to molest while the attorney general's office continued to investigate. She said yes, that there are two victims who were abused by Sandusky in the fall of 2009, months after the AG started investigating. She said they were previously unknown and did not participate in Sandusky's trial. She also said the victims didn't want to pursue a legal case against Sandusky because he is, in effect, behind bars for life.

She also made clear that had prosecutors acted with a greater sense of urgency, those victims would have been spared.

"If he (Sandusky) was in jail, of course there wouldn't be more victims," Kane said.

In a bizarre twist, Kane said she learned of the two new victims after she took office and she is sure that the previous prosecution team and investigators knew of them.

Problem is, on Monday they all denied any knowledge of additional victims.

"We never had any information, credible information, that someone was assaulted during this investigation," said Frank Fina, who led the Sandusky investigation but no longer works for the attorney general's office.

Fina admitted that during the investigation, Sandusky was not under round-the-clock surveillance.

"We did everything we could," Fina said. "We could not do 24-hour surveillance. We could not do it, but we did everything we could."

Fina, former AG investigator Randy Feathers, and prosecutor Joe McGettigan gathered at the Capitol to blast the report as Monday morning quarterbacking with the luxury of hindsight, which is always 20/20. They derisively called Kane "the politician" and Moulton "the professor."

"Politicians do what they do," McGettigan said. "Professors do what they do. I now have a good paperweight or doorstop, that report, and I'm gonna use it. Prosecutors do what we did and the last I looked, Jerry Sandusky got convicted."

Fina said he was embarrassed by the report's conclusions and feels they will only stop future victims from coming forward.

"Even if the monster who did these things is convicted, you're gonna have to go through some review by a politician?" Fina said with disgust in his voice at the word politician, "and have the whole case dragged through the mud, extending your pain and your anguish?"

Feathers strongly disagreed with the report and called Kane's attack on he and fellow prosecutors personal.

"I spent 31 years in law enforcement and took an oath to protect and serve, and for some politician to get up there and tell me that I knowingly knew about two other victims and for some reason hid that, it hits me hard," Feathers said.

"We didn't write no books, we didn't make no movies, we protected victims. That's what we were supposed to do. We're not running for office here, we're putting a child predator in jail. We did our job."

The state's victim advocate, Jennifer Storm, attended Monday's news conference but refused to criticize the pace of the case. It's more important to get it done right, she said, than get it done fast.

"Had they rushed to prosecution, had they rushed to file charges against Jerry Sandusky, he would be on the streets today and he would be harming so many kids," Storm said.

Kane was asked if her comments as an attorney general candidate were reckless and whether she owes Corbett an apology for suggesting he slowed down the Sandusky investigation.

"I don't think anybody should ever apologize for asking tough questions," Kane responded.

 

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