STATE COLLEGE, PA - JANUARY 22: Community members pay their respects at the statue of Joe Paterno, the former Penn State football coach, after hearing of Paterno's death, outside of Beaver Stadium on January 22, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. Paterno, who was 85 years old, had been battling lung cancer. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
The Freeh Report, released on Thursday, revealed that Joe Paterno and other Penn State leaders put public relations above child victims of Jerry Sandusky.
Former FBI director Louis Freeh released a report summarizing a lengthy, independent investigation of Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The findings do not reflect well upon Joe Paterno, the late football coach, and the school's leadership.
"Callous and shocking disregard for child victims" is how Paterno and other top officials at the school are characterized in the Freeh Report. The report confirms that Paterno and others knew about a 1998 investigation of Sandusky for child sex abuse allegations. That revelation makes it clear that Paterno and others knew about Sandusky's past when assistant coach Mike McQueary reported a sexual assault in the locker room showers in 2001. Paterno denied his knowledge of the 1998 investigation to the grand jury.
In the end, the Freeh Report made it clear that Paterno and the other leaders at Penn State, including athletic director Tim Curley, former PSU vice president Gary Schultz and PSU president Graham Spanier, valued public relations over reporting the incidents.
From the report:
Taking into account the available witness statements and evidence, it is morereasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, themost powerful leaders at Penn State University - Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley - repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from theauthorities, the Board of Trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large. Although concern to treat the child abuser humanely was expressly stated, no suchsentiments were ever expressed by them for Sandusky's victims.
The Paterno family released a statement prior to the Freeh Report's release.