ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY - The federal lawsuit filed against the NCAA on Wednesday by the Corbett Administration is of particular interest to some organizations that want to protect the victims of child abuse.
After the Sandusky scandal broke last year, and in light of a couple of other major child abuse investigations in Pennsylvania, a special statewide task force was formed. One member of that state wide panel says that Penn State's $60 million dollar fine could make a significant difference if the money is restricted to Pennsylvania.
Assistant Blair County District Attorney Jackie Bernard was a member of the statewide task force on child protection for the past year. It was that panel's recommendation that part of the $60 million dollar fine should be used to fund a statewide network of child advocacy centers.
The child advocacy centers are seen as a valuable resource because they can provide a number of services at one time, in one place for young victims. But to expand the network of advocacy centers already operating in the state, significant financial resources are needed.
State Senator Jake Corman wants to make sure any Penn State fine is restricted to use in Pennsylvania. While the federal lawsuit filed by the Corbett Administration seeks to wipe out all sanctions including that fine, the Corbett Administration still wants Penn State to fund child abuse protection efforts in the state.
An effort is underway to plan for and establish a regional Child Advocacy Center in Blair County if the funding required can be obtained from the Penn State fine or any other source.