Charges dropped against former Penn State football player

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- All criminal charges against former Penn State running back Austin Scott have been dropped.

The decision comes after the state Superior Court ruled earlier in the day that jurors could hear testimony about the alleged victim's involvement in a separate sexual assault case in 2003. The defendant in that case was acquitted.

The Centre County district attorney's office said it withdrew the charges because there was "no reasonable likelihood" it could meet the burden of proof.

"It's a lot of pressure and scrutiny off my back," Scott told television station WFMZ on Friday night. "It's great to be over with and ... free."

Scott was en route Friday from State College to his home in Allentown.

"Finally, justice," defense attorney John Karoly said by phone from his Allentown office.

Karoly said Scott was "happy and troubled" when the running back heard the news, and that Scott questioned why the case started in the first place when prosecutors were aware of the previous case.

The 23-year-old player never played for Penn State again after Paterno suspended him Oct. 5, citing a violation of team rules. Police charged Scott a week later.

A team spokesman declined comment on Friday's development.

Scott hopes to play pro football. He had 302 yards and six touchdowns on 69 carries in five games last season before being suspended for the rest of his senior season.

Scott, a recreation, park and tourism management major, is still enrolled as a student and is to graduate next month.