Report finds Penn State had "total disregard" for child sex abuse victims

In a statement released along with an extensive report, Louis Freeh -- a former FBI director and federal judge -- blasted top officials at the school.

Penn State's leaders showed "total disregard" for victims of child sex abuse and failed to protect children, the head of an internal review said Thursday.


In a statement released along with an extensive report, Louis Freeh -- a former FBI director and federal judge -- blasted top officials at the school.

Freeh spearheaded the probe into how the school handled allegations of child sex abuse by assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

"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," Freeh wrote.

"The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."

He went on to name four former school officials -- former President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz, former head coach Joe Paterno, and former athletic director Tim Curley.

The four men "never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest," Freeh wrote.

The remarks were released along with a lengthy report on the review's findings.

The scandal, which rocked the nation, already has led to the dismissal of Paterno, as well as the ouster of Spanier and Curley.

Sandusky was convicted in June of sexually abusing young boys over a 15-year period.
He maintains his innocence.

Freeh's internal investigation is separate from criminal investigations that have resulted in Sandusky's conviction and charges against Curley and Gary Schultz, former Penn State vice president.

The scandal raised questions about Penn State's response to the allegations of abuse, with some claiming the school put its reputation ahead of protecting potential child victims.

Thursday's lengthy report is expected to home in on school officials and consider whether the culture of the university enabled an environment in which abuse could occur, according to sources.

The cost of the investigation "is estimated to be in the millions," but is covered by the university's insurance policy, said Penn State spokesman David LaTorre.

Investigators pored over Penn State's policies on reporting sex crimes and sexual misconduct and reviewed whether there was a failure over how those policies and plans were actually implemented, the sources added.

"No one, no one, is above scrutiny," said trustee Kenneth Frazier, head of the committee addressing the scandal, when the review began in November 2011.

At the time, Freeh said to expect recommendations to improve possible leadership failures at the university "that allowed anyone to prey on children with impunity."