A report released Thursday by former FBI director Louis Freeh into the investigation of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal found that top university officials, including former head coach Joe Paterno, failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.
READ MORE: The Freeh Report
Last month, a jury convicted Jerry Sandusky, the Nittany Lions' former defensive coordinator, on multiple charges of sexually abusing 10 boys over a period of 15 years.
“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 report reads. "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."
Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former university vice president Gary Schultz are facing charges of perjury and failing to report alleged child abuse to law enforcement. However, former University president Graham Spanier is not facing charges.
"Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest,” according to the report.
According to the report, Penn State administrators knew of an incident of sexual abuse in 1998. Notes, found by the Freeh investigation, written by Schultz indicate the former university official was conflicted over Sandusky's actions.
Schultz writes, “Behavior – at best inappropriate @ worst sexual improprieties” and “At min – Poor Judgment.” Schultz also notes: “Is this opening of pandora’s box?” and “Other children?”
Freeh's report also says that by allowing Jerry Sandusky access to campus after reports of alleged child abuse, the school was ignoring red flags.
"Indeed, that continued access provided Sandusky with the very currency that enabled him to attract his victims. Some coaches, administrators and football program staff members ignored the red flags of Sandusky’s behaviors and no one warned the public about him,” according to the report.
The report also states “Sandusky retained unlimited access to University facilities until November 2011.”
Here are some of the report's findings:
Freeh’s investigation also unearthed information that demonstrated the power and control Paterno wielded in State College, Pennsylvania.
According to the report, a janitor, who had fought in the Korean war, observed Sandusky raping a boy in the locker room. When he told his co-workers what he observed, another co-worker said reporting the incident "would have been like going against the President of the United States."
"I know Paterno has so much power, if he wanted to get rid of someone, I would have been gone," according to the janitor's statements in the report.
The report also mentioned another janitor's statement that "football runs this University," and said the University would have closed ranks to protect the football program at all costs.
The Paterno family released a statement shortly after the release of the Freeh report.
"We are in the process of reviewing the Freeh report and will need some time before we can comment in depth on its findings and conclusions. From the moment this crisis broke, Joe Paterno supported a comprehensive, fair investigation. He always believed, as we do, that the full truth should be uncovered," the statement read.
READ MORE: Paterno family statement
"Joe Paterno wasn't perfect. He made mistakes and he regretted them. He is still the only leader to step forward and say that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. To think, however, that he would have protected Jerry Sandusky to avoid bad publicity is simply not realistic. If Joe Paterno had understood what Sandusky was, a fear of bad publicity would not have factored into his actions."
Freeh's investigative group developed 120 recommendations for the University and the Board in the following eight areas:
· The Penn State Culture
· Administration and General Counsel: Structure, Policies and Procedures
· Board of Trustees: Responsibilities and Operations
· Compliance: Risk and Reporting Misconduct
· Athletic Department: Integration and Compliance
· University Police Department: Oversight, Policies and Procedures
· Programs for Non‐Student Minors and Access to Facilities
· Monitoring Change and Measuring Improvement
The report acknowledges that it will be difficult for school officials to change the culture of Penn State.
"One of the most challenging of the tasks confronting the Penn State community is transforming the culture that permitted Sandusky’s behavior, as illustrated throughout this report, and which directly contributed to the failure of Penn State’s most powerful leaders to adequately report and respond to the actions of a serial sexual predator."