Gov. Corbett today said he welcomed any future review of his handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case, saying politics played no role in the investigation and challenged his critics to produce evidence to the contrary.
"There was no politics involved in that investigation none, zero. I challenge anybody out there to bring forward one piece of evidence, one sentence of evidence, one thread of evidence," said Corbett told reporters after a ceremonial bill signing event at Harrisburg Area Community College.
Red-faced but speaking with a measured tone, Corbett assailed his critics and defended the length of investigation in what may be his most expansive comments yet on a hot subject that continues to dog him.
If the U.S. Attorney's office wants to launch investigation, "let them have one," said Corbett. "This is all politics being played buy the other party."
Corbett was responding to a question about his probe being raised as an issue in the attorney general candidates debate Monday night.
"I come from a business where we have to prove a case," he said. "I don't say anything until I know I can prove a case."
During the debate, Democrat Kathleen Kane, who pledged to review the attorney general's handling of the case if elected, said convening a grand jury wasted too much time and she would have arrested Sandusky much sooner.
Her GOP opponent David Freed also said he would conduct a review of the handling of the Sandusky case also.
Corbett said time was needed to nail down the case against Sandusky and ensure a conviction.
"I don't think anybody questions my personal integrity," said Corbett. "This becomes personal after a while."
Corbett said he has been prosecuting pedophiles since he was an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County.
"I'm not going to let a predator go," he said. "I was trying to bring the best case I could to take that person off the streets."
Corbett said Kane's position - that she would have arrested Sandusky right away based on one accuser - would have jeopardized the case.
"My personal belief is that the young man would never have survived a one-on one preliminary hearing, let alone a trial," he said. "What proved that case was that we did eventually find witness after witness, victim after victim ... it was repetition I'm convinced that convinced that jury the man did what he did."
Sandusky is now in prison after being convicted on 45 of 48 counts in the case last month. Corbett said he was pleased with the overwhelming number of guilty verdicts.
For her part Kane said it was "unfortunate" that Corbett would be upset about legitimate questions raised by Pennsylvanians.
"His reaction makes it clear to voters that the only candidate who will find the truth, based upon all the facts, will be me, not his hand-picked candidate for Attorney General,” she said.
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