Penn State sex-abuse case disgusts Gov. Tom Corbett as a father
The morning after Jerry Sandusky told NBC's Bob Costas that he regretted showering with children, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett was countering criticism about the length of time taken for the Sandusky investigation.
He also revealed his own disgust, as a father, at the child-sex-abuse allegations.
"Trust me, if we would have had something we could do right away, [we] would have done it," Corbett said of the investigation in an interview Tuesday with Pittsburgh radio station KDKA.
Corbett, who was attorney general when the investigation began, said, "We wanted to build a case that would be good when it got to the courtroom and wouldn’t fail."
The investigation into allegations that Sandusky was a child predator was initiated in early 2008. On Nov. 4, he was indicted on dozens of charges of child sexual abuse. On Nov. 5, Sandusky turned himself in; he maintains his innocence.
On Monday, Costas interviewed Sandusky on the newsmagazine show "Rock Center," and the former football coach said, "I enjoy young people. I love to be around them," but he denied being a pedophile. Costas on Tuesday described responses by Sandusky as "somewhat odd" and "very strange."
On KDKA, Corbett defended the multiyear span of the investigation: "You have to develop witnesses, you have to gain the trust of witnesses, you have to find evidence. These investigations just don’t jump up and give you the evidence right away."
He denied that the timing of the revelation of the allegations or the arrest of Sandusky were in any way politically motivated: "If I did it for running for governor, why wouldn't I have announced it during the governor's run? ... We need to focus on the children."
Host Marty Griffin asked Corbett: “As a father, I know this hits you emotionally, does it not? The way it hits me... On an emotional level, governor, it has to make you sick to your stomach."
“It absolutely does," Corbett replied, recalling an earlier child-predator case that he prosecuted in the late 1970s. "That kind of conduct has stuck with me ever since .... This certainly ... offends everybody, the senses of everybody, I think.... That’s one of the reasons we have to follow through on it."
-- Amy Hubbard
Photo: Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is led away by police after his arrest Nov. 5 in a sex crimes investigation. Credit: State of Pennsylvania / Reuters