DA: ‘Investigation Doesn’t Substantiate’ Allegations In Humphries Hazing Lawsuit
Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna issued a statement on Thursday in response to a lawsuit filed by former Penn State football player Isaiah Humphries and accusing James Franklin and others of hazing earlier this week.
In a short statement, Cantorna acknowledged that police investigated allegations of sexual crimes in the Lasch Building last year and that his office reviewed the reports, however no criminal charges were filed based on them. He then continued to say that, “As of today’s date, that investigation does not substantiate the serious allegations made. What I mean by that is that the evidence doesn’t meet the high threshold of filing and concluding criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Humphries transferred from Penn State to Cal last offseason after one year in Happy Valley. In the lawsuit, he accused various players of performing sexual acts in the locker room and them and the coaching staff of retaliating once he reported the behavior.
“These are very serious allegations, and if there are individuals who have information regarding them, they contact the Centre County Detective and District Attorney Office,” he said in conclusion.
You can read Cantorna’s full statement, as well as the brief Q and A afterward, below:
“As you all know it’s the policy of the Centre County District Attorney’s Office not to discuss ongoing criminal investigations nor to discuss cases where criminal charges have not been filed. Nevertheless, given recent events we are issuing this statement to briefly address some questions arising from the allegations presented in Isaiah Humphries’ recent filing in federal court.
As previously reported in the press, in April 2019 our office received a report regarding serious allegations of crimes of a sexual nature involving the Lasch Building. An investigation into those allegations was undertaken. Witnesses were identified who would have knowledge or evidence and information regarding those events. Police interviewed those witnesses along with other university students and staff. These investigative reports have been reviewed by our office.
As of today’s date, that investigation does not substantiate the serious allegations made. What I mean by that is that the evidence doesn’t meet the high threshold of filing and proving criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Based on that review no charges have been filed.
These are very serious allegations. If there are individuals who have information regarding them they can contact the Centre County detective at the Centre County District Attorney’s Office. I can assure you that information will be followed up.
Other than that statement and any clarification you might need, I will have no further comment on the matter.
Question: Can you elaborate in terms of matters that could arise that could obtain that threshold, so to speak?
Cantorna: Any criminal case is always open for review. If there’s additional information we review it.
Question: In general has the Timothy Piazza hazing legislation created any added work for you when you’re reviewing any hazing case?
Cantorna: The review is the same. I don’t believe so, no.
Question: All of the information from this case was turned over to you, confirming Penn State’s statement on the matter that police had turned these things over to you?
Cantorna: I can tell you that at the time that these allegations were received by the District Attorney’s Office, our office was involved in the investigation
Question: Along with Penn State?
Cantorna: Along with the detective that was conducting interviews, yes.
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