Major Probe of Penn State Under Way on Possible U.S. Clery Act Violations


As Jerry Sandusky awaits sentencing on 45 child-sex-abuse convictions, investigations continue to examine the role of Penn State University leaders in the scandal, including a probe of whether the university violated a federal campus-safety law, reports the Washington Post. Five days after the former coach was arrested in November, the U.S. Education Department started a probe into Penn State's compliance with the Clery Act, which requires prompt public alerts of safety threats, annual disclosure of crime statistics, and other steps to protect campus communities.

When federal officials investigate a school after a high-profile incident, they typically broaden the search to the school's handling of safety issues over a number of years. Usually these probes cover one to three years, maybe as many as five or six — but nowhere near the 13 at issue with Penn State .”They've asked for absolutely everything,” said S. Daniel Carter, a campus security advocate for more than two decades. He said the Penn State investigation may be the department's largest to date. The 1990 Clery Act is named for Jeanne Clery, who was raped, tortured, and murdered in 1986 in her dorm room at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. The ultimate penalty is loss of federal funding. Officials never have gone that far, instead imposing fines of up to $27,500 per violation.

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