WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Education has fined the prestigious Penn State University a record $2.4 million fine for violating a law that requires colleges and universities to report campus crimes and warn people if their safety is threatened.
The announcement Thursday comes after a five-year federal investigation into how Penn State officials handled complaints about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was charged in 2011 with child molestation.
The investigation found the school violated regulations when it didn't warn students and employees of the forthcoming charges against Sandusky, who was convicted in 2012 and is due in court Friday as he seeks to have the conviction thrown out or to get a new trial.
The report said Penn State officials disclosed in June that 45 people have claimed they were victims of Sandusky, who was convicted of abusing 10 boys.
Two senior administrators were charged in 2011 with covering up the possible abuse. The officials, then-athletic director Tim Curley and then-vice president Gary Schultz, still await trial along with former Penn State president Graham Spanier on charges of endangering the welfare of children and failing to properly report suspected abuse.
If upheld, the total fine would be the largest since a federal law, which requires reporting of crimes on college and university campuses, was enacted more than 25 years ago.
The previous record Clery Act fine was $357,500 against Eastern Michigan University in 2007, reduced to $350,000 in a settlement.