The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

June 24, 2014

Report: Prosecutor pushing Sandusky charges

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A report showed a prosecutor heading the Jerry Sandusky child molestation investigation sought to have him charged in 2010 but her higher-ups felt the single victim at that time wasn’t enough.

The review of how the Sandusky case was handled faults police and prosecutors for long delays in bringing charges but found no evidence that politics affected the investigation into the former Penn State assistant football coach. The report was issued Monday.

The prosecutor, Jonelle Eshbach, kept emailing her bosses about the case during a stretch in 2010 when the probe was largely dormant.

Eshbach drafted a grand jury report in March 2010 based on the claims of a lone victim, but she spent much of the ensuing months — as the attorney general at the time, Tom Corbett, won the Republican gubernatorial primary — trying to get approval for the report.

“In the interim, no witnesses were interviewed, no witnesses testified in the grand jury and no grand jury subpoenas were issued,” wrote Geoff Moulton, brought in by Attorney Kathleen Kane to examine the case.

He said the basis for that decision was that one accuser’s testimony wouldn’t be enough to convict Sandusky and an acquittal would make it harder to file more charges later.

One of those supervisors, Frank Fina, told reporters Eshbach agreed with others that the case would not succeed with just one victim, but her lawyer disputed that account.

“If that was true, why would her supervisors ask her to revise the (grand jury report) twice? Why would she repeatedly ask for permission from her supervisors to charge?” said Eshbach’s attorney, Ed Paskey.

The report blamed a three-year lapse in filing charges on communication problems, an expungement of a 1998 complaint about Sandusky and a failure to take certain investigative steps early on.

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