Four high-ranking Penn State University officials, including legendary football coach Joe Paterno, “repeatedly concealed critical facts” about Jerry Sandusky’s contact with young boys, according to an independent investigation released this morning.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and his investigators today released their findings into what Penn State Univerisity officials knew about the child sexual abuse scandal involving retired football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Freeh and his law firm, Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP, were retained in November 2011 on behalf of the Special Investigations Task Force of the Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University to conduct the independent investigation.
The entire report was made be available online starting at 9 a.m. at TheFreehReportonPSU.com.
But in a press release with Freeh's written remarks, he stated:
"My team conducted over 430 interviews of various individuals that included current and former University employees from various departments across the university, as well as current and past Trustees, former coaches, athletes and others in the community. We also analyzed over 3.5 million emails and other documents."
He continued: "The evidence found by our investigators included critical, contemporaneous correspondence from the times of these events. Our investigative team made independent discovery of critical 1998 and 2001 emails—the most important evidence in this investigation. We also confirmed, through our separate forensic review, that the correct year of the Sandusky sexual assault witnessed by Michael McQueary was 2001, and not 2002 as set forth in the original grand jury presentment."
Freeh also confirmed that Penn State officials were not sent a preview of the investigative report—and that they "are seeing it at the same time and in the same manner as everyone else, namely by accessing the independent website we established for this purpose."
Also mentioned by the investigator:
- "As you will read in our report, Penn State failed to implement the provisions of the Clery Act, a 1990 federal law that requires the
collecting and reporting of the crimes such as Sandusky committed on campus in 2001.Indeed, on the day Sandusky was arrested, Penn State’s Clery Act implementation plan was still in draft form. Mr. Spanier said that he and the Board never even had a discussion about the Clery Act until November 2011."
- 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."
- "Taking into account the available witness statements and evidence, it is more reasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at Penn State University – Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley—repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the Board of Trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large. Although concern to treat the child abuser humanely was expressly stated, no such
sentiments were ever expressed by them for Sandusky’s victims."
- The evidence shows that these four men also knew about a 1998 criminal
investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a young boy in a Penn State football locker room shower. Again, they showed no concern about that victim. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky
had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno’s. At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley also failed to alert the board of trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against Mr. Sandusky. None of them even spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. In short, nothing
was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity."
To read the entire press release, click on the attached PDF.
At 10 a.m., Freeh will hold a news conference in Philadelphia, which will be carried live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.
on 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse. He is expected to be sentenced in September.
Editor's Note: What's your reaction to the report? Let me know in the comments section. - amanda