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Federal hearings on Penn State called for by Sen. Casey

Ben Bernanke, Kevin Brady, Bob Casey, Bernard Sanders AP

Last week, a spokesperson for U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan confirmed that the agency is looking into whether federal laws were violated when Penn State officials failed to act on allegations of the sexual abuse of a child in 2002.

That review came at the behest of Patrick Meehan, a Republican representative to the House whose district includes State College.  Now, a senator from the state is seeking the involvement of his contemporaries as well.

In a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania (pictured) called for Senate hearings into how federal laws may or may not apply to the child-sex abuse scandal, and what can be done at the federal level to prevent something similar from happening in the future.

“The serious nature of these allegations and the evidence on the public record of failure to report by individuals at Penn State warrants an immediate review of the relationship between federal and state reporting requirements on child abuse and neglect under (the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act),” Casey said. “Additionally, the hearing should explore the need to support educational and training requirements for people who come into contact with children to recognize abuse and neglect.”

MSNBC.com notes that Pennsylvania is not one of the 18 states that require all adults to report suspected child abuse.  In the Democratic Senator’s letter, directed to committee chair Barbara Mikulski and ranking committee member Richard Burr, Casey wrote that he was hoping legislation will be drafted that will “ensure that all adults recognize their legal responsibility to report suspected child abuse.”  Casey added that he hopes the legislation “will be introduced in the days ahead.”

Additionally, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce may conduct its own investigation into the scandal at Penn State once Duncan’s department concludes its probe into the matter.

“The committee is monitoring the situation at Penn State carefully and will assess the need for Congressional action after the Department of Education concludes its investigation into the matter,” spokeswoman Alexandra Sollberger told the Patriot-News.

The state of Pennsylvania conducted an investigation into allegations that former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused at least eight boys over a 15-year period that began in 1994, and the grand jury returned a 40-count indictment against the alleged pedophile earlier this month.  Investigations at the state and federal level are ongoing, and as many as a dozen more alleged victims have come forward in the past 10 days.

In an interview Monday night, Sandusky once again professed his innocence, as well as buried himself further in the court of public opinion.

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9 Responses to “Federal hearings on Penn State called for by Sen. Casey”
  1. latrobe21 says: Nov 15, 2011 3:35 PM

    Casey’s a buffoon – anyone ever hear him talk? Made it to the U.S. Senate only because of his dad’s name.

    Let the dam judicial process play out to determine the facts before the dod and pony shows begin.

  2. latrobe21 says: Nov 15, 2011 3:35 PM

    my bad – dog and pony show.

  3. lbijake says: Nov 15, 2011 3:46 PM

    He has a hot sister also!!

  4. woodruff2250 says: Nov 15, 2011 3:48 PM

    Politics Politics Revoke Sandusky bail let him meet his new peer group

  5. cubano76 says: Nov 15, 2011 3:48 PM

    I don’t care how he got elected to be honest. His call for a hearing, if for nothing else to bring attention to the fact that EVERY adult has a responsibility to report something like this is what’s needed. When the hearings are done, he can go back to coloring in his office, or whatever the hell else he does.

  6. frankiebooboo says: Nov 15, 2011 3:51 PM

    in pa, not all adults are required to report suspected abuse, but teachers ARE REQUIRED, is a coach not considered a teacher?? they new they were legally required, thats why its called a “COVER-UP”. DUH?!

  7. amctjc says: Nov 15, 2011 4:36 PM

    Federal govt needs to allow the state process to handle….the federal govt cannot afford nor should it be involved in a state issue

  8. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Nov 15, 2011 6:34 PM

    Can you say grand standing? If PSU went down hard and Casey was involved he couldn’t be elected to dog catcher in the state of PA and everybody in the state knows it. Not saying there shouldn’t be an investigation, but getting the federal government involved is a lose-lose situation for Casey and one of his aides should have told him that.

  9. charger383 says: Nov 15, 2011 10:19 PM

    Lets have a trial instead

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