Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, has been charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over 15 years. Authorities say some of those assaults happened on Penn State’s campus. Sandusky has denied the charges.

A grand jury report found that several university administrators had knowledge of the alleged assaults but did not notify the police. Penn State’s athletic director and a senior vice president have been charged with perjury and failure to report. Attorneys for those men say their clients are innocent.

The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to annually disclose campus crime statistics and, in some cases, to warn the community if a crime poses a safety threat. The education department oversees compliance of the act, and notified the university of its investigation on Wednesday.

“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,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. “Schools and school officials have a legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from violence and abuse.”

More coverage of the Penn State charges:

Document: Jerry Sandusky grand jury report

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Joe Paterno’s future at Penn State remains uncertain

Penn State students react to Jerry Sandusky arrest