After a nearly eight-month investigation, a team of officials led by the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation found that a vast collection of Penn State officials, including famed former football coach Joe Paterno, turned a blind eye to Sandusky’s wrongdoing.
Sandusky was convicted last month of dozens of counts of sexual abuse after 10 men came forward to report that they had been abused as boys by the former PSU football official.
Shortly after the admissions were made last fall, the university fired a number of officials who were believed to have had knowledge of the allegations, including Paterno, who died in January.
The nearly 300-page report, based on more than 400 interviews and compiled by Louis Freeh, details that Penn State officials were aware of Sandusky’s discretions for the past 14 years.
The report stated that Paterno and former president Graham Spanier, as well as former vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley — who are facing perjury charges from the scandal — were aware that Sandusky was being investigated in 1998 by a number of law-enforcement agencies that were looking into allegations of his inappropriate behavior with young boys.
When an allegation of abuse arose in 2001, however, the four elected not to notify police.
“Four of the most powerful people at the Pennsylvania State University failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade,” the report said. “These men concealed Sandusky’s activities from the Board of Trustees, the university community and authorities. They exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims.”
The findings include a string of emails among the four in which they determined it would be “more humane” for university officials to handle the allegation — in which an assistant coach witnessed Sandusky sexually assaulting a child — internally, rather than reporting it to police.
None of the four targets of the report were interviewed by Freeh or his associates.
The renown of the university’s football program could be related to the lack of action, the report speculated, as the pervasive culture among the Penn State community was one that would have discouraged negative publicity for the team.
One janitor interviewed for the report told investigators he saw Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in a university shower but declined to report the incident for fear of reprisal.
The university’s handling of the scandal is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The PSU Board of Trustees met last week to review the report, which it commissioned, and its spokesperson said the university “accepts full responsibility” for its missteps.