Reactions to Freeh Report released Thursday that found Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials hushed up child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago for fear of bad publicity:
“The idea that any sane, responsible adult would knowingly cover up for a child predator is impossible to accept. The far more realistic conclusion is that many people didn’t fully understand what was happening and underestimated or misinterpreted events. Sandusky was a great deceiver. He fooled everyone – law enforcement, his family, coaches, players, neighbors, university officials, and everyone at Second Mile.” – Paterno family statement.
“There are monsters among us, people who will hurt children for their own sexual gratification. Every university, school, business and individual has an obligation to follow up and report such cases.” – Gov. Tom Corbett, who was attorney general when the investigation into Sandusky was begun by state prosecutors.
“(Paterno’s) 61 years of excellent service to the university is now marred.” – Karen Peetz, chairwoman of the university’s board of trustees.
“Unfortunately, Judge Freeh’s conclusion, repeated often during his press conference this morning, that Dr. Spanier was engaged in a course of ‘active concealment,’ is simply not supported by the facts or by the report itself.” – Timothy Lewis and Peter Vaira, lawyers for ousted university president Graham Spanier.
“It really confirms everybody’s worst fears about what was going on there. The fact that this is such a complete indictment of the university leadership is opening people’s eyes to the potential liability that schools face if they don’t address this correctly. … Heads of every college and university in the country have got to be taking note of this, and calling board meetings today and saying, ‘We need to make sure that we change the way we’re doing things.’ ” – Scott Berkowitz, president of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.
“I think that we should be careful that we don’t paint the entire football program over a long period of time with a single brush. … These things happen in schools, in churches, in youth camps … all over.” – Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who called the scandal the “most painful chapter” in school history.
“The report notes that before the 1998 incident involving Victim 6, university employees, including coaches, observed Sandusky showering with a young boy in Penn State facilities on multiple occasions. Apparently, with regard to Sandusky, the University and its employees embraced a philosophy of hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil,” – Howard Janet, an attorney for Victim 6.
“The Freeh Group was limited in its investigation by lack of subpoena power and the reluctance of many people to be interviewed. … The result is a lopsided document that leaves the majority of the story untold.” – defense lawyer Caroline Roberto, who represents Penn State athletic director Tim Curley.
“When the complete factual story is told before an impartial jury, it will be clear that Mike McQueary never told Mr. Schultz that he witnessed Mr. Sandusky engaging in anal intercourse with a young boy, that Mr. Schultz did not possess or maintain any secret files about Mr. Sandusky, and that there were no efforts between and among Messrs. Schultz, Curley, Paterno and Spanier to conceal Mr. Sandusky’s behavior.” – defense lawyer Tom Farrell, who represents former university vice president Gary Schultz.
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