As the Penn State abuse scandal deepens, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has called on legislators to change state laws regarding child sexual abuse.
Corbett, who as attorney general launched the investigation into sex crimes at the school, said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday that a new state law should be enacted to ensure child sex crimes are reported to the authorities.
Should the law be changed? Absolutely, Corbett, a Republican who has held the governorship since Jan. 18, said on the show.
The Penn State athletic department and the university community have been rocked by the allegations revealed in a grand jury report earlier this month detailing the vile sexual acts former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky allegedly committed with young boys on and off the school's campus between 1994 and 2009.
Penn State's legendary football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier were both fired last week by the school's Board of Trustees as the scandal deepened, and Penn State Athletic Director Timothy Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz are facing criminal charges for failing to report the abuse to authorities and misleading investigators.
Investigators were kept in the dark regarding the alleged abuse for years. Corbett said on Meet the Press that Republicans and Democrats are already working to amend the child sexual abuse laws in order to make it harder for people with knowledge of sexual crimes toward children to avoid informing the authorities, and he said a bill may be passed by the end of 2011.
We have to make sure that the change in the law is one that is effective, Corbett, a trustee on the Penn State board, said Sunday. It's easy enough to take a look to see what other states have done. But I'm sure that within the next few weeks, you will probably see bills become public.
Corbett also appeared Sunday on Fox News Sunday, where he said at Penn State there was a failure to act, and I always have said your actions speak louder than your words.