The most senior officials at Penn State University failed for more than a decade to take any steps to protect the children victimized by Jerry Sandusky, the longtime lieutenant to head football coach Joe Paterno, according to an independent investigation of the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the university last fall.
“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” said Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who oversaw the investigation. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
Sandusky last month was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse, including rape and sodomy, by a jury in Bellefonte, Pa. The jury found he had assaulted young boys at his home, on the Penn State campus and at other locations over many years.
Incredibly, we hear from Paterno today...from the grave.
Paterno, through his family, insisted after Sandusky’s arrest that he never knew anything about the 1998 case. But Freeh’s report asserts that Paterno not only knew of the investigation, but followed it closely. Local prosecutors ultimately decided not to charge Sandusky, and Paterno did nothing.
Paterno, in a letter that he had prepared but that was not published before his death, asserted that whatever the failings in the Sandusky affair — his or the university’s — it did not constitute a “football scandal.”“Regardless of anyone’s opinion of my actions or the actions of the handful of administration officials in this matter, the fact is nothing alleged is an indictment of football or evidence that the spectacular collections of accomplishments by dedicated student athletes should be in anyway tarnished,” Paterno said in the letter.
- "a total and consistent disregard for Sandusky's child victims...
- "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade...
- "a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky's victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well being...
- "empowered Sandusky to attract victims to the campus and the university's prominent football program...
- "granting him license to bring boys to campus facilities for grooming for targets of his assaults."
- and driving all of it: "A culture of reverence for the football program that is ingrained at all levels of the campus community."
UPDATE: And if there are any Paterno apologists left out there, today's (7/14) headlines should silence them once and for all.
Paterno Won Sweeter Deal As Scandal Played Out:
In January 2011, Joe Paterno learned prosecutors were investigating his longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky for sexually assaulting young boys. Soon, Mr. Paterno had testified before a grand jury, and the rough outlines of what would become a giant scandal had been published in a local newspaper.
That same month, Mr. Paterno, the football coach at Penn State, began negotiating with his superiors to amend his contract, with the timing something of a surprise because the contract was not set to expire until the end of 2012, according to university documents and people with knowledge of the discussions. By August, Mr. Paterno and the university’s president, both of whom were by then embroiled in the Sandusky investigation, had reached an agreement.Mr. Paterno was to be paid $3 million at the end of the 2011 season if he agreed it would be his last. Interest-free loans totaling $350,000 that the university had made to Mr. Paterno over the years would be forgiven as part of the retirement package. He would also have the use of the university’s private plane and a luxury box at Beaver Stadium for him and his family to use over the next 25 years.