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Jerry Sandusky may face federal charges in child sex abuse scandal

As readers of this blog have no doubt heard, former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is facing numerous charges that he sexually abused boys he came in contact with through his Second Mile charity organization. Thus far, the shocking accusations have led to criminal charges against Sandusky in state court. But while cases of alleged sexual molestation of minors is usually a matter for state and local authorities, the nature of some of the allegations against Sandusky may lead to federal charges as well.

According to NBC News, a person described as a "senior law enforcement source" said that the Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI are examining allegations that Sandusky took victims across state lines when the Penn State Nittany Lions played in bowl games in 1998 and 1999. The team played the Outback Bowl in Tampa in 1998 and the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio in 1999. Authorities say that Sandusky took a young teenage boy, known as Victim Number Four, to both of those games and repeatedly abused him.

The FBI is also investigating whether Sandusky ever lured victims using the Internet, which could also violate federal law. Also, a New York group called the Fresh Air Fund said it sent six children to live with Sandusky between the 1970s and '90s.

The Pennsylvania U.S. Attorney based in Harrisburg is leading the federal investigation. His office has also offered help to the state Attorney General's Office in its state-level investigation. The FBI is also providing help.

Source: MSNBC, "Penn State case: Feds consider launching criminal inquiry," Michael Isikoff, Nov. 18, 2011

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