Reactions to Freeh Group's findings on Penn State, Jerry Sandusky

Reactions to Freeh Group's findings on Penn State, Jerry Sandusky

Reactions to Freeh Report released Thursday that found Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials hushed up child sex abuse allegation 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, neighbours, university officials, and everyone at Second Mile." — Paterno family statement.

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"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.

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"He built this town. All of his victories, he'll be remembered by everyone in town for a long time, but there will be that hesitation." — Christian Beveridge, a masonry worker who grew up near Penn State on Paterno's legacy.

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"The knowledge of Paterno in 1998 — the fact that Sandusky was known to be a grave risk to children for 14 years and nothing was done to stop him — that is a crying shame. And it's something that will be a stain on Penn State for a long time to come." — Tom Kline, lawyer for a boy known as Victim 5 who was assaulted by Sandusky in a football team shower in 2001.

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"This is a serious indictment against Penn State's culture and environment of protecting at all costs the football program, and Sandusky was a major part of the success of Penn State's football program for many years. Nothing is shocking anymore in this case ... but the fact that the highest levels of the school made a conscious decision to cover up what Sandusky had done, it comes close. It is shocking." — Michael Boni, a lawyer for a boy known as Victim 1 who came forward in 2008, starting the Sandusky investigation.

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"Despite being children within easy reach of many supposedly great local figures, they were offered no outstretched hand. They were left to save themselves. This campus is plagued by desperate, insistent shrieks of 'We are Penn State.' It's time for Penn State to realize that adhering to this mantra is distancing and self-defeating. It is time to follow a path of humility, not one of hubris." — Matt Bodenschatz, a Penn State student and spokesman for Voices for Victims.

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"The actions of five or six people don't reflect on the hundreds of thousands" of students and faculty who make up Penn State. — Mary Krupa, a Penn State freshman who grew up in State College.

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"We'll continue working with all relevant campus officials and law enforcement personnel to determine whether or not there was a violation of the Clery Act. Beyond that, our investigation is ongoing." — Justin Hamilton, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education.

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"Throughout this entire time, the focus of the attorney general's office has been on the criminal process — seeking justice for the victims of Jerry Sandusky's predatory sexual abuse and identifying other individuals who may also have violated state laws. ... Today's release of the Freeh Report will not hinder the continuing work of our statewide investigating grand jury, nor will it impact ongoing criminal prosecutions." — Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly.

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"There are no details about Sandusky's conduct before 1998, the involvement of Second Mile, its interplay with Penn State and Penn State officials. If that was the decision of the board, and the direction given to Freeh and his team, shame on them for not wanting to know the full picture" — Jeff Anderson, a lawyer who filed the first civil suit against the university, Sandusky and Sandusky's charity, the Second Mile, on behalf of a man who claims Sandusky sexually abused him from 1992 to 1996.


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