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The questions PSU won't answer about student extortion case

Plus: A virtual Talk of the Town event, the state Supreme Court's ruling on mail voting law, and county fairs.

August 4, 2022
Inside this edition: The questions Penn State won't answer about the potential sexual extortion of student athletes, a virtual Talk of the Town event, and a ruling from the state Supreme Court on Pa.'s mail voting law.
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Unanswered Questions
Abby Drey / Centre Daily Times
Real quick: Penn State wouldn’t answer important questions after student athletes were allegedly extorted into taking and sharing sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves and others.

A bit more: More than two weeks after unsealed search warrants revealed at least one Pennsylvania State University athlete was extorted last fall into sending sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves and others, the university has refused to answer specific questions about how it handled the situation.

University officials rebuffed Spotlight PA’s questions about whether all individuals who were filmed naked or partially naked have been identified and notified.

Penn State also declined to specify how many students were involved, when exactly campus police were brought in, and whether additional crimes were investigated.

According to the search warrants, the videos showed naked or partially naked people in the locker room of the Penn State football team. Videos showing multiple men having sex with a woman were also shared with the alleged extortionist, law enforcement officials said in the documents.

Penn State successfully petitioned to have the search warrants sealed earlier this year. Spotlight PA, with the Centre Daily Times, and WJAC-TV, later filed a motion seeking to reverse that decision, citing the public’s right to such records.

In two separate statements, the university said it would not share additional information because of an “open investigation,” but would not clarify whether it was referring to an internal investigation conducted by the university or the potential federal investigation related to the situation.

Lisa Powers, senior director of university public relations, told Spotlight PA in a July 20 email that police "have found no evidence to indicate that the sexual acts depicted in the videos are not consensual."

The full story: Read more here.
📝 More From Spotlight PA
» Penn State did not prove its legal standing to have public court filing sealed, experts say

» Pennsylvania's mail voting law can stay in place, state Supreme Court rules

» Wolf sues GOP-led legislature to block abortion, voter ID questions from reaching Pa. ballot box
📷 Local Gem
Penn State reporter Wyatt Massey recently took this lovely photo of Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte, Centre County. Want to be featured here? Send your best local pics to talkofthetown@spotlightpa.org.
📰 In Other News
» Penn State implements hiring freeze through at least next summer (Centre Daily Times)

» YMCA and CenClear hope to grow more than food on 'The Farm' (StateCollege.com)

» Newry couple accused of stealing nearly $1M from older dependent (Morrisons Cove Herald)

» New budget funds to be distributed among local schools (Altoona Mirror)

» Penn Highlands to open state-of-the-art Center for Behavioral Health (The Bradford Era)

» Genesee Township charged with failing to provide safe water (Potter Leader-Enterprise)
You're Invited!
I've been overwhelmed by the support Spotlight PA's State College regional bureau has received since our launch earlier this summer.

You've welcomed us with open arms. We are grateful for your trust, readership, and encouragement. 

Our vision of local news in north-central Pennsylvania is one produced with the community, in service to the community, and sustained by the community. 

And so I’m delighted to share that we’re hosting a virtual Talk of the Town event! 

Join us Friday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. on Zoom to meet our staff, get a behind-the-scenes look at our coverage, and tell us how we can best understand and represent the communities in our region. 

This Q&A is free and open to the public.

RSVP here. Send questions about the team and the bureau’s mission by responding to this email or emailing events@spotlightpa.org. We will also answer questions live during the event.

We can’t wait to see you!

— Sarah Rafacz, State College editor
📅 Events
Want us to list your event? Send it to us.

» Aug. 5: The Kane Wine Walk returns for its second year.

» Aug. 5-6: The 39th annual Bellefonte Arts & Crafts Fair brings a juried show, musical entertainment, food vendors, and children's activities to the streets of downtown.

» Aug. 7-13: Celebrate animals and agriculture at the Cameron County Fair.

» Aug. 8-13: The Mifflin County Youth Fair showcases animals, agricultural exhibits, children's activities, and more.

» Aug. 9-13: The Elk County Fair features contests, carnival rides, entertainment, and more.
🧩 The Puzzler
An anagram is a word, phrase, or name formed by rearranging the letters of another. For example, "spotlight" also forms "stoplight."

Decode the anagram and send your answer to talkofthetown@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA State College swag.

Good luck!

Last week's answer: Silent

Winners: Donna D., Mark O., Robert T., Martha D., Steve B., Tish M.
Do you have events, community shoutouts, questions about our region, or tips on stories that we should pursue? Email our team.
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