STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — A report commissioned by Joe Paterno’s family says the late coach did nothing wrong in his handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and portrays Paterno as the victim of a “rush to injustice” created by former FBI director Louis Freeh’s investigation of the case for Penn State.
The family’s critique, released Sunday, argues that the findings of the Freeh report published last July were unsupported by the facts.
Dick Thornburgh, a former U.S. Attornet General and one of the experts assembled by the family’s lawyer to review Freeh’s report last year to Penn State, called the document fundamentally flawed and incomplete.
Freeh’s report reached “inaccurate and unfounded findings related to Mr. Paterno and its numerous process-oriented deficiencies was a rush to injustice and calls into question” the investigation’s credibility, Thornburgh was quoted as saying.
In a statement released Sunday through a spokesman, Freeh defended his work.
Paterno’s family released what it billed as an exhaustive response to Freeh’s work, based on independent analyses, on the website paterno.com. The reports conclusion declares the Freeh report “unfounded” and resulting in a disservice to the victims of Jerry Sandusky and to Penn State University.
This runs counter to the Freeh report. “Taking into account the available witness statements and evidence, it is more reasonable to conclude that, in order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at Penn State University – Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley – repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse” from authorities, trustees and the university community, Freeh wrote in releasing the report.
The former administrators have vehemently denied the allegations. So, too, has Paterno’s family, though it reserved more extensive comment until their report could be completed
The counter-offensive began in earnest this weekend. The family’s findings said that Paterno:
- Never asked or told anyone not to investigate an allegation made against Sandusky 12 years ago, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2001.
- Never asked or told former administrators not to report the 2001 allegation.
- And never asked or told anyone not to discuss or hide information reported by graduate assistant Mike McQueary about the 2001 allegation.
Throughout this process, the Paternos have been steadfast in their support of the late coach and will likely continue in their efforts to clear his name and restore his legacy.
Breitbart Sports Contributed to this Report.