November 28, 2011 / 6:11 PM / 8 years ago

Government begins Penn State abuse scandal probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Investigators from the Department of Education arrived at Penn State University on Monday to review how it handled sex abuse charges against a former football coach, the school said.

Former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky in a November 5, 2011 police photo. REUTERS/Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office

Department representatives will see if Penn State met federal crime-reporting requirements over allegations that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky molested eight boys over a 15-year period.

“We are making every effort to provide the review team with immediate access to all requested records and information sources pertaining to all aspects of Clery Act compliance,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a Saturday statement.

Under the Clery Act, colleges and universities that take part in federal aid programs must keep and disclose information about crimes that take place on campus.

Sandusky, 67, is the focus of a wide-ranging investigation of alleged child sex abuse outlined in a 23-page grand jury report this month.

The report includes a charge that Sandusky attacked a boy in a football locker room on campus in 2002. Sandusky, who retired in 1999, has denied any wrongdoing.

Revered football coach Joe Paterno and President Graham Spanier were fired by trustees in the wake of the grand jury report. The former athletic director and an ex-finance official face perjury charges.

Penn State also faces a raft of other investigations, including by its trustees and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Pennsylvania’s attorney general has said her probe is still open.

The Department of Education had told Penn State on November 9 that it would investigate its compliance with the Clery Act.

The department can impose civil penalties for infractions of the act and can suspend schools from taking part in federal student financial aid programs.

Reporting by Ian Simpson and Greg McCune

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