The Associated Press is reporting that the U.S. Education Department will investigate whether Penn State did not report instances of sexual abuse on campus.
The investigation comes amid a scandal engulfing the Penn State football dynasty. Former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested over the weekend and charged with alleged sexual abuse of young boys. Authorities also arrested two other two university officials who they say lied to a grand jury about what they knew and failed to report the allegations to police. All three say they're innocent.
The AP reports:
Colleges and universities must report the number of crimes on campus and provide warnings if safety is threatened.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the allegations, if true, are a tragedy for the boys. He says it would be even worse if officials knew about the abuse and didn't report it.
The Office of Financial Aid is conducting the investigation. The Office of Civil Rights also is considering whether it should investigate.
As we reported, yesterday, Rep. Patrick Meehan, a Republican from Pennsylvania, called on the Department of Education to investigate.
"Aside from the charges against individuals – we need to look at whether a federal law that requires colleges and universities to report crimes on campus was broken," Meehan said in a statement. "The failure to report the incident in 2002 appears to violate this law and breaks Penn State's own reporting methods for sexual abuse on campus. Even more upsetting is the fact that had university officials reported this to authorities, additional abuses could have been prevented."