Pat Ciarrocchi reports

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) — The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it will launch an investigation into whether Penn State University failed to comply with the Clery Act.

Under the Clery Act, properly known as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, colleges and universities must disclose the number of criminal offenses on campus that are reported each year.

In addition, in certain cases, the institution must issue a timely warning if a reported crime represents a threat to the campus community.

The investigation stems from the incident involving Jerry Sandusky, 67, who was arrested Saturday and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor, as well as single counts of aggravated indecent assault and attempted indecent assault, the state attorney general’s office said. (see related story)

In addition, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz have been charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported a 2002 alleged assault involving Sandusky.

Joe Paterno, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, followed protocol by reporting the 2002 incident to his superiors; however, has fallen under criticism for not doing more.

Wednesday afternoon, Paterno issued a statement saying that he will retire at the end of the season. (see related story)

“If these allegations of sexual abuse are true then this is a horrible tragedy for those young boys. If it turns out that some people at the school knew of the abuse and did nothing or covered it up, that makes it even worse. Schools and school officials have a legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from violence and abuse,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The investigation of Clery Act violations will be conducted by the Office of Federal Student Aid.

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