Defense attorneys will examine Paterno report
Lawyers for Penn State University officials charged with a criminal cover-up of allegations against Jerry Sandusky may take a hard look at a report by experts Joe Paterno's family commissioned, one of the attorneys suggested.
At least one Penn State trustee urged the university to do likewise.
The Paterno report — a collection of reports by former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh; former FBI profiler Jim Clemente; Dr. Fred Berlin, a Johns Hopkins University expert in sexual disorders; and Paterno family lawyer Wick Sollers — was released Sunday. It concluded that an internal investigation former FBI Director Louis Freeh conducted for Penn State was wrong on several key points.
• No evidence supported Freeh's assertion that former coach Paterno, former administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz and former university president Graham Spanier conspired to conceal child sexual abuse by Sandusky, the retired football defensive coordinator who is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for sexually abusing 10 boys.
• The evidence did not support Freeh's assertions Paterno knew about a 1998 investigation involving Sandusky and wanted to conceal a 2001 report.
The Paterno family report concluded that Paterno, who died last January, did what he believed was necessary to address an allegation against Sandusky brought to him in 2001 by then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary. The family's experts concluded Paterno did not know or even believe in the possibility that Sandusky was capable of sexually assaulting boys.
Freeh said he stands by his conclusions.
John Burkoff, a University of Pittsburgh law professor, called the Paterno report “a first-rate piece of lawerly advocacy.”
“I'm not saying its arguments and contentions are wrong. Some of them may be right. Some of them may be wrong,” he said, calling the report a “selective review of some of the available evidence.”
Trustee Alvin Clemens said the report “raises a number of extremely troubling questions.” He urged colleagues on the 32-member board to re-examine the conclusions of the Freeh report.
“The Freeh group was engaged by the board of trustees to perform an independent, full and complete investigation of the Sandusky scandal. In addition to questions about accuracy and fairness, there is little question that the Freeh report is less than complete,” Clemens said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Caroline Roberto, a Pittsburgh lawyer who represents Curley, said the Paterno report's description of Sandusky is “chilling reality” that helps “make sense of this tragedy.”
Curley, Spanier and Schultz face criminal charges in connection with an alleged cover-up. All maintain their innocence.
“Jim Clemente, the former FBI profiler, asks the right questions: how so many people — good people in a good community — could fail to understand the red flags regarding Jerry Sandusky,” Roberto wrote in an email response to the Tribune-Review.
“To deny that we all missed it and ignore the reasons why, as explained by Mr. Clemente, is to do a disservice to our children, to the memory of Joe Paterno and to Tim Curley, who is unjustly accused of crimes,” Roberto wrote.
Burkoff added, “Whatever happens in these prosecutions, the truth is that we will never know the truth.”
Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Faithful stand together in Wilkinsburg
- More departments in region eye equipping officers with Narcan to treat overdoses
- Burial set for remains of World War II soldier from city
- New Monroeville Mall policy aims to tame teen shoppers
- Region tied 81-year-old record low Saturday
- 3-alarm fire burns Hill District row homes
- Black Pittsburghers still challenged in education, workforce, housing
- Pittsburgh police chief: Officers, public must unite against violence
- McCandless mortgage broker company president charged with bank fraud conspiracy
- Port Authority focusing on natural-gas bus fleet for proposed rapid transit line
- Newsmaker: Dai Morgan