The damning independent report into the Penn State scandal reveals the college’s power players never expressed concerns over the welfare of of one of Jerry Sandusky’s victims.Former federal judge and FBI director Louis Freeh independently reviewed whether Penn State officials knew about the abuse claims and how much they did, if anything, to stop the crimes.
As part of his investigation, Freeh decided deceased Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, former Penn State president Graham Spanier, ex-athletic director Tim Curley, and former Penn State university vice president Gary Schultz were overly concerned about avoiding bad press and treating Sandusky humanely.
“Although concern to treat the child abusers humanely was expressly stated, no such sentiments were ever expressed by them for Sandusky’s victims,” according to the report.
Curley and Schultz refused to be interviewed directly by Freeh, choosing instead to speak through their lawyers. Investigators weren’t able to interview Paterno, who died of complications from lung cancer earlier this year.
But they did speak with Schultz. Here’s what the men had to say:
- Curley and Schultz, in statements from their lawyers: The two men “state that the ‘humane’ thing to do in 2001 was to carefully and responsibly assess the best way to handle vague but troubling allegations.”
- Paterno, in statements made before his death: “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.”
- Spanier, during an interview with the Special Investigative Counsel, said he was never informed of the February 2001 incident, in which Sandusky was reportedly sexually abusing a boy in the shower. Sandusky claimed he was only “horsing around.” But Spanier said he never asked what that “horsing around” entailed.
“Taking into account the available witness statements and evidence, it is more than reasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at Penn State University — Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley — repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the Board of Trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large,” the report concluded.
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