A report released Thursday morning by the former head of the FBI shows that top officials at Penn State University turned a blind eye to the child victims of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
An excerpt of the report, authored by Louis Freeh, whom the university hired last November to investigate what the school knew about Sandusky’s alleged sexual misconduct, revealed that former PSU President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz, former head football coach Joe Paterno and Athletic Director Tim Curley “failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
“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 [Football] 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.”
The 68-year-old Sandusky, who served as a trusted assistant coach under Paterno for three decades, was convicted last month on 45 counts of sexually abusing young boys. He is currently awaiting his sentence, which will most likely keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Freeh’s report also found that school officials ignored the Clery Act, which requires any public institution that accepts federal funding to disclose crime that occurs on or near its campus.
Paterno, the school’s legendary head coach, was fired late last year after news of the scandal broke. Just weeks later, he was diagnosed with cancer, and died in January. He was not interviewed by Freeh or any other members of his investigative team.
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