Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

February 11, 2013

Paternos challenge Freeh report on scandal at PSU

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Joe Paterno's family released its response to Penn State's report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal Sunday, attacking Louis Freeh's conclusion that the coach hid sex abuse allegations against his longtime assistant.

In a report commissioned by the family, former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh said the investigation by former FBI director Freeh resulted in a "rush to injustice." That report, authorized by the university, found that Paterno and three former administrators covered up child sexual abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Those findings last July were unsupported by the facts, said the family critique released.

"The lack of factual report for the ... inaccurate and unfounded findings related to Mr. Paterno, and its numerous process-oriented deficiencies, was a rush to injustice and calls into question the credibility of the entire Report," Thornburgh was quoted as saying in the family's analysis, posted on the website paterno.com.

Months in the making, the report was billed as an independent analysis of the work by Freeh, who defended his report Sunday.

"I stand by our conclusion that four of the most powerful people at Penn State failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade," he said in a statement issued through a spokesman.

The family's report concluded that observations related to Paterno in the Freeh report was unfounded, and were a disservice to Paterno, the university community and Sandusky's victims "and the critical mission of educating the public on the dangers of child sexual victimization."

The central claim that Paterno "was engaged in a conspiracy ... there's simply no basis anywhere in the report for that finding. That in my view renders the whole report of very little value," Thornburgh said in an interview with The Associated Press. "There's simply nothing in this record, in the Freeh report, that indicates he was involved in any way."

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