Governor Tom Corbett, 11/20/11, Pennsylvania Press Club
Corbett is under harsh criticism for his failure to investigate promptly an allegation that former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused a Central Mountain High School student.
The complaint was referred to Corbett, then Pennsylvania Attorney General, in March of 2009. Investigators from the Office of Attorney General were not assigned to the case until October 2010, just before Corbett was elected governor.
Sandusky was not arrested in connection with the Central Mountain boy, and seven other alleged vicims, until earlier this month. This week, Corbett defended the length of the investigation, saying, "The one thing you do not want to do as a prosecutor is go on one case." In other words, the investigation took so long because he had to go searching for other victims (which he didn't bother to do) before he could file charges.
Unsurprisingly, Corbett is lying. Again.
A six-year-old Northampton County girl told police in February 2010 that she had been assaulted. By December, the rapist already had been sentenced. He was arrested immediately after the complaint of a single victim.
In a case that was prosecuted by Corbett's own office - in the midst of the Sandusky investigation - Delaware County District Judge Gerald C. Liberace was sentenced earlier this year on a sex abuse conviction involving a single victim. Remember, as a prosecutor, you never want to go on just one case. Except when you do.
In March of 2009, around the same time Corbett received the Sandusky case, state police charged Butler County physician and Boy Scout leader David Allen Evanko with sexually abusing two scouts.
Less than six months later, Corbett himself announced additional charges related to additional victims.
Just to be clear, even though the doctor already had been arrested on the original complaint, Corbett's office was able to continue the investigation and file additional charges - a procedure Corbett claims he went to great lengths to avoid in the Sandusky case. And, he managed to complete the Evanko investigation in one year.
Even cases involving multiple victims over several years - cases that were taken to a grand jury - have never taken anything close to three years to investigate. Marysville borough officials first received complaints about officer Robert J. Pavlovich Jr. in early March of 2007. The initial complaint involved two girls. By late October, investigators had identified at least 14 victims. All in just over six months.
As Attorney General, Corbett bragged that his Child Predator Unit made 250 arrests. Most of the defendants were arrested on the basis of their contact with a single "victim" - who wasn't even a child but an agent posing as one.
Is there no limit to the outrageous dishonesty Corbett can get away with?
UPDATE, 6/22/12: Journalists awaiting a verdict in the Sandusky trial report that "Prosecutors have more victims ready to come forward if Jerry Sandusky is acquitted." - precisely what Corbett claimed he could not do: "[If] you were to lose that one case, it would be much more difficult to bring charges in other cases because it would be seen by you, by the public, as vindictive."