WASHINGTON: Top officials at Penn State University showed “total and consistent disregard” for the well-being of the young victims of a pedophilia scandal, a damning internal investigation found on Thursday.
The US College hired former FBI head Louis Freeh to conduct the eight-month probe into the sex abuse perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky, an assistant football coach at the school, who was convicted on pedophilia charges last month.
Freeh’s report found a pattern of negligence and concealment by “the most powerful people” at Penn State, including its former president Graham Spanier and legendary football coach Joe Paterno.
“They exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and wellbeing,” the Freeh report found.
He added the university seemed more concerned about avoiding “bad publicity” than assisting the victims in the explosive case, which shocked a nation that is passionate about its college sports.
Freeh conducted over 430 interviews of key university officials and staff and conducted an exhaustive review of emails, records and other documents.
In particular, the probe excoriated the university for failing to notify the proper authorities immediately when revelations first surfaced that Sandusky had engaged in improper behaviour involving children.