An independent investigation has found that Pennsylvania State administrators, including the late football coach Joe Paterno, “repeatedly concealed critical facts” to avoid bad publicity relating to allegations that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky could be a pedophile.
The FBI Former FBI director Louis Freeh presented the 267-page Freeh Report today. It found that the former University President Graham Spanier, Paterno and two other university officials “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.”
The university was aware of a criminal investigation as far back as 1998 in Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children, but took no action to address the issue, the Wall Street Journal reports. In June, Mr. Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts related to child sexual abuse and faces up to 442 years in prison.
According to the report, Mr. Paterno, long revered as a football legend, said, “I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”
A previous version of this story referred to the Freeh Report as having been unveiled by the FBI. In fact the report was funded in full by Penn State University and headed by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.