Freeh Report: Penn State Administration, Joe Paterno Covered-up Jerry Sandusky's Child Abuse

First Posted: 07/12/12 09:21 AM ET Updated: 07/12/12 10:17 AM ET

A report released today blasted senior members of the Penn State administration -- including head coach Joe Paterno and President Graham Spanier -- for their response to allegations of sexual abuse by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Sandusky was convicted on June 22 of 45 criminal counts of child sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky retired in 1999, but kept an office at the school and used its facilities. He awaits sentencing in the fall.

Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI and chief investigator of the inquiry, said in remarks Thursday morning,

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.

The Freeh report went onto indict senior members of the Penn State administration for the "total disregard for the safety and welfare" of Sandusky's victims.

"Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest, " the report states. "In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at Penn State University...repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse."

Further, and perhaps more damningly, the entire structure of Penn State's football program was criticized.

The AP

The report also singled out the revered Penn State football program - one built on the motto "success with honor" - for criticism. It says Paterno and university leaders allowed Sandusky to retire in 1999, "not as a suspected child predator, but as a valued member of the Penn State football legacy, with future `visibility' at Penn State'," allowing him to groom victims.
In terms of concrete misdoings under the law, the reports finds Penn State in violation of the Clery Act of 1990, a federal statute, "that requires the collecting and reporting of the crimes such as Sandusky committed on campus in 2001."

In order to create the report, Freeh and his team interviewed more than 430 people and analyzed more than 3.5 million emails.

This report will be updated.