STATE COLLEGE (KDKA/AP) — Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno and other senior officials “concealed critical facts” about Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted on child sexual abuse charges last month, because they were worried about bad publicity, according to an internal investigation into the scandal.
The 267-page report released Thursday morning is the result of an eight-month inquiry by former FBI director Louis Freeh. He was hired by university trustees weeks after Sandusky was arrested in November to look into what has become one of sports’ biggest scandals.
- Read The Report
- Read Louis Freeh’s Full Comments
- Watch The News Conference
- PSU Board of Trustees’ Reaction
- Attorney General’s Statement On The Report
- Paterno Family Reaction
The report concluded that Paterno, former PSU president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.”
The initial conclusions read: “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.”
Sandusky is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of 45 of 48 criminal counts last month. And the scandal led to the ouster of Paterno and the school’s president.
The report also reads: “In critical written correspondence that we uncovered on March 20th of this year, we see evidence of their proposed plan of action in February 2001 that included reporting allegations about Sandusky to the authorities. After Mr. Curley consulted with Mr. Paterno, however, they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities. Their failure to protect the February 9, 2001 child victim, or make attempts to identify him, created a dangerous situation for other unknown, unsuspecting young boys who were lured to the Penn State campus and football games by Sandusky and victimized repeatedly by him.”
A Centre County jury convicted Sandusky last month after days of testimony from eight young men who said they were the victims of sexual abuse.
But Freeh’s team focused on Penn State and what its employees did — or did not do — to protect children.
Investigators examined emails and other documents, and interviewed more than 400 current and former Penn State employees, including nearly everyone associated with the football program under Paterno.
The Hall of Fame coach died of lung cancer in January at age 85, without telling Freeh’s team his account of what happened.
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