SAN DIEGO–The District Attorney’s Office reacted today to the findings of an internal review of how Penn State officials handled reports that the university’s former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, sexually abused boys.
The report, by former FBI Director Louis Freeh found “total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims.”
“I am outraged by the culture at Penn State’s football program that allowed this abuse to go on unchecked for so long,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. “Jerry Sandusky and university leaders who covered up his tracks ruined the lives of innocent child victims. Today’s report is a wakeup call that anyone who suspects sexual abuse has a duty to report it.”
In response to the Penn State case, several bills including SB 1264, AB 1817 and AB 1434, are making their way through the California Legislature that deal with making people in certain positions such as coaches or computer technicians mandatory reporters of sexual abuse.
Since 2007, the District Attorney’s Office has been working with local schools and colleges to prevent sex abuse.This effort was the first of its kind with the DA’s Office bringing together local colleges, rape crisis centers and police and sheriff’s officials in an effort to make schools and the community more safe. We are currently expanding the PRICE collaboration by creating an educational push on the legal and ethical responsibilities of school officials, teachers, coaches, athletic staff and volunteers to report abuse of any kind and take appropriate action to stop it and expose it.
“We’re proactively reaching out to local universities and sending a stronger message to the wider community,” DA Dumanis said. “Students, staff and volunteers need to know what appropriate behavior is and how to respond to suspected physical or sexual abuse.”