PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The highly-anticipated report from former FBI Director Louis Freeh has been released.
The report is an independent investigation into Penn State’s handling of child sexual abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Investigators examined emails and other documents, and interviewed 400 current and former Penn State employees. The report is available at this link.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes reports that the initial conclusions in the report read in part:
“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest.”
On Wednesday, the Paterno family released a letter that the late, long-time former head football coach Joe Paterno wrote to his players.
It was to be published as an op-ed piece, but was never published. Paterno died a few weeks later.
It reads, in part: “I feel compelled to say, in no uncertain terms, that this is not a football scandal. Yet, over and over again, I have heard Penn State officials decrying the influence of football and have heard such ignorant comments like Penn State will no longer be a ‘football factory’ and we are going to ‘start’ focusing on integrity in athletics. These statements are simply unsupported by five decades of evidence to the contrary.”
Months later, after days of testimony from eight young men who said they were the victims of sexual abuse and testimony about two other young men whose identities are unknown, a Centre County jury convicted Sandusky of 45 of 48 counts.
It was a verdict that left the Penn State community and the community beyond campus wondering how things got to this point.
It’s one of the questions Freeh was asked to answer when the PSU Board of Trustees pledged to leave no stone unturned in the investigation of university process and procedure in the Sandusky scandal.
Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was among the 400 past and present Penn State employees interviewed by Freeh’s investigators.
Spanier released a statement this week saying he was never told about criminal activity on the part of Sandusky.
But in a series of emails that have been made public, former PSU athletic director Tim Curley is said to have sent Spanier an email that refers to Sandusky and says there is a problem and that Sandusky may need professional help.
Spanier responds that that may be a more humane way to deal with it rather than tell everyone.
There are also reports from sources close to the family of former assistant coach Mike McQueary that although he offered to speak to the Freeh investigators, he was never questioned by them.
McQueary testified before a grand jury, at the preliminary hearing for Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz and at the Sandusky trial.
The results of the Freeh Report will be available online beginning at 9 a.m. today.