HARRISBURG—Legal responsibility versuses moral duty. That is the question being asked of Joe Paterno. The Penn State head coach has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the grand jury. But some are wondering if he could have done more to stop the abuses from happening.
The attorney general has clearly stated Joe Paterno is not a suspect in the cover up of this case. However, many are wondering two main things, how did he not know what was happening? And when he heard about one of the allegations, why did he himself not go to the police?
"He's been cooperative with the investigators in this case. He is not regarded as a target at this point," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly.
A grand jury has cleared the 84-year-old Paterno of any wrongdoing. According to the grand jury presentment, Paterno was informed of an incident in 2002 when a graduate assistant found Jerry Sandusky in the shower having sex with a 10-year-old boy. Paterno alerted Atheltic Director Tim Curley to the incident, but doing nothing further.
"If you know that a child is in harm's way and you know that a child has been violated to a degree that this 10-year-old was violated in that lockeroom, you have an obligation to report that to the authorities," said Jennifer Storm, the Executive Director of the Victim's Assistance Program in Dauphin County.
But Paterno says he was never told about the extent of the incident with the boy. Paterno testified to the grand jury, he was told of Sandusky "fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."
From that point forward, Paterno was not a part of any of the follow up meetings between the graduate assistant and administrators.
"The institution of Penn State is not the criminal justice system. They should have reported this to the authorities," Storm said.
Jennifer Storm says, Joe Paterno probably followed the letter of the law, but could have done more to prevent further abuses. "It's an absolute systematic failure," she said.
Paterno released a statement Sunday saying he did what he should have done but is still troubled by the allegations of his longtime colleague and friend.
Paterno is expected to come under fire this afternoon when he meets the media for his regularly scheduled news conference. The Nittany Lions are preparing to take on Nebraska this weekend in a key Big 10 matchup. However, reports say Paterno won't talk about the issue during the news conference.