Laura Ditka, prosecutor in Penn State child abuse case, dies unexpectedly

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 17, 2018 9:39 AM

FILE - In this March 24, 2017, file photo, Prosecutor Laura Ditka arrives for Graham Spanier's trial at Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Pittsburgh) -- The lead prosecutor in the child abuse case involving officials at Penn State has died.

Laura Ditka was 55.

The Allegheny County district attorney's office says Ditka died unexpectedly.

No cause of death was given.

The DA's office called her "an extraordinary public servant and person and a loving mom."

Ditka led the prosecution of President Graham Spanier and other university officials charged with mishandling complaints about assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Spanier was convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment. Two other officials pleaded guilty.

She was a deputy attorney general who'd spent 25 years in the Allegheny County DA's office, where she established the office's child abuse unit.

Governor Tom Wolf ordered flags at the Capitol Complex and public buildings in Allegheny County lowered to half-staff.

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