PHILADELPHIA — An investigation headed up by former FBI Director Louis Freeh finds that top Penn State University administrators, including then-head football coach Joe Paterno, tried to hide allegations of child sex abuse by convicted assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Freeh released his report Thursday morning in Philadelphia.
“We are here today because a terrible tragedy was allowed to occur over many years at Penn State University,” said Freeh, “one in which many children were repeatedly victimized and gravely harmed.”
Freeh put much of the blame for that on the shoulders of Joe Paterno, the longtime coach. The icon of college football was described as man who protected a pedophile, who teamed up with Penn State administrators to hide the truth for more than a decade.
Freeh spent almost eight months looking into Penn State’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and he found many, many faults.
Former Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz are already charged in connection with a cover up but Freeh says former Penn State President Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno were involved too, dating all the way back to 1998. That’s when the first report came that Jerry Sandusky sexually abused a boy on campus.
Freeh says Paterno knew about that investigation and followed it closely. That’s not what Paterno told investigators.
Then came the incident in 2001 when Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky assaulting a boy in the shower.
Freeh says all four powerful Penn State leaders worked to cover that up, but he says Paterno was the main reason it was never reported to authorities.
When asked if Paterno could have stopped Sandusky, Freeh said “many, many witnesses that we spoke to described Mr. Paterno as one of the most powerful leaders on the campus.”
Paterno never had a chance to talk to Freeh’s investigators before he died.There are critics of Freeh’s report already saying he’s attacking a dead man who can’t defend himself.
To that charge, Freeh said “the facts are the facts.”