In his investigation into the Penn State football program, former FBI director Louis Freeh found that key Penn State officials, including university president Graham Spanier and longtime head coach Joe Paterno, were aware of allegations about former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky abusing children in 1998.
In a press release released Thursday morning in light of his report on the school's handling of the Sandusky sex abuse scandal, Freeh acknowledged the lack of institutional control that was prevalent at Penn State.
"Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.
"(Penn State president Graham) Spanier, (vice president Gary) Schultz, (head coach Joe) Paterno and (athletic director Tim) Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest."
In addition to the 2001 incident of Sandusky allegedly molesting boys in a Penn State locker room shower, Freeh's internal review also found that all four individuals were aware of an earlier instance in the locker room shower in 1998 that was investigated by Penn State police. However, no charges were filed.
When he testified before a grand jury, Paterno said that he knew nothing about the 1998 report and that he was unaware of rumors about Sandusky's behavior.
Freeh found that Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley concealed critical information relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities and everyone else in order to avoid bad publicity.
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