Report: Penn State leaders concealed Sandusky facts to avoid bad publicity

An independent report out this morning found that the most powerful men at Penn State—including head football coach Joe Paterno—failed to protect children from Jerry Sandusky for 14 years.

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Those are among the findings from a new report out this morning that offers a damning assessment of Penn State’s handling of Sandusky, who was convicted last month of 45 counts of sexual abuse toward young boys.

“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,” Louis Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who oversaw the investigation, said in prepared remarks. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”

The report said:

“It is more reasonable to conclude that, 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 from the authorities, the Board of Trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large.”

Penn State’s Board of Trustees did not know about the allegations regarding Sandusky in 1998 and 2001, according to the report. Although the report does note that the board failed to create an environment in which the school’s senior leaders were held accountable.

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