Paterno’s Family Releases Statement Challenging Freeh Report
STATE COLLEGE (KDKA/AP) – Former FBI director Louis Freeh is standing by his conclusion that former Penn State coach Joe Paterno and three top administrators concealed child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky.
Freeh responded Sunday to a new critique released by Paterno’s family that called Freeh’s report last July inaccurate and unfounded, resulting in a “rush to injustice.”
Freeh says in a statement he respects the right of the Paterno family to conduct a media campaign in an effort “to shape the legacy of Joe Paterno” but the coach should have done more to stop Sandusky.
Freeh cited grand jury testimony in which Paterno said a graduate assistant relayed to him a 2001 allegation against Sandusky of a “sexual nature” with a child.
He said Paterno’s attorney was contacted for an interview with the coach, who died in January 2012.
In a statement released Sunday through a spokesman, Freeh defended his work.
“I stand by our conclusion that four of the most powerful people at Penn State failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade,” he said.
Paterno’s family released what it billed as an exhaustive response to Freeh’s work, based on independent analyses, on the website paterno.com.
“We conclude that the observations as to Joe Paterno in the Freeh report are unfounded, and have done a disservice not only to Joe Paterno and the university community,” the family’s report said, “but also to the victims of Jerry Sandusky and the critical mission of educating the public on the dangers of child sexual victimization.”
Paterno’s widow, Sue, broke her silence Friday in a letter to hundreds of former players informing them of the report’s impending release. “The Freeh report failed and if it is not challenged and corrected, nothing worthwhile will have come from these tragic events,” she wrote.
Last month, the appeals process began for Sandusky who was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys. He is serving a 30 to 60 years sentence at SCI Greene.
Defense attorney Joe Amendola testified that he was unprepared when his client’s trial began because he did not have enough time to read over 12,000 discovery documents.
Defense attorneys also argued that Sandusky’s right to not testify was violated when prosecutors referred to an interview done with Bob Costas. They also took issue with instructions given to the jury.
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