Press Release Re: Special investigative report related to the sexual abuse of children at Penn State by Gerald A. Sandusky

July 12, 2012

Freeh Report:

A step towards transparency, but far from the whole story

Serious concerns about the limitation of scope remain

Broader and deeper investigation needed

Statements of Jeff Anderson and Marci Hamilton:

Jeff Anderson:
The release of the investigation by Louis Freeh, hired by the Board of Trustees, is a major step in the direction of transparency.  It reveals in sorted and candid detail what has happened and gives us a glimpse of why it happened and the institutional failures at the top on down from 1998 to the present.  What is most notable it not only the turning of the blind eye and the decisions by top officials to put brand, profit and reputation over child protection, but the systematic pattern that they continue to employ to protect themselves and the reverence of the institution. PSU is not alone.  This scandal and report puts a mirror upon all of us and is another painful demonstration of institutions, not unlike the Catholic Church and others, that made choices and priorities to protect their reputation and profit over little people and children.  It is a failure of courage and it is a fear of truth and through it and more information to be revealed hopefully it awakens something in our national consciousness about protecting kids and what needs to be done.  On behalf of the courageous survivors that have found their voice and continue to speak their voice, we applaud them for their courage but for this and more information would never be known and the mirror would never be placed upon Penn State top officials and our national consciousness and institutional failure.

What is most notable is the lack of the breadth of the report in that and disturbing is that it only goes to 1998 and it has been known and well known that Sandusky had been offending using his position at Penn State and Second Mile long before that and if the designated scope of the inquiry was limited to 1998 to the present that falls on the responsibility of the Board, if it was the choice made by Freeh and the investigators it no doubt is accountable for the short time frame that they had to do and/or complete this task.  We of course are interested and the survivors with whom we speak are interested in getting the whole truth and not the half truths. Until the full story is known and revealed going back to 1977, it still remains a half truth.  While we applaud the effort that has been made, we urge Penn State and all the communities interested in protecting children to insist on full, fair revelations of the truth as painful a it is.  The real challenge here is to not in seeking new details, but looking at these revelations with new eyes and awareness.  As communities we have to choose truth over fear and what this report demonstrates time and time again is that there was choices made to protect and self-protect the institution and those individuals within it over fear of retaliation and fear of consequences without regard to the many vulnerable children and families devastated by those choices.  We recognize that this is a beginning of a difficult and sorrowful journey of excavation of the truth that can bring first awareness and then understanding, and then action.  The next step that needs to be taken is a broader and deeper investigation going back farther in time and we look forward to working with Penn State and all the communities including law enforcement and the survivors to that end.

While we applaud that an investigation has been done by an inscrutable source with impeccable qualifications and there are important revelations and painful truths revealed, we are seriously concerned that it is far from the whole truth which makes it a half-truth which could also lead to a half lie.  We have serious questions about the scope of the inquiry made.  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 directions given to Freeh and his team, shame on them for not wanting to know the full picture and the whole truth.  The truth can be painful and until we fearlessly and they fearlessly pursue and acknowledge the whole truth, there can’t be a full awareness, a full understanding and complete remedial action taken so that.

The report raises as many questions as it answers.  Among them, why was it so limited in scope and why was it was it thus on a short timeframe. Once those questions are answered, a full accounting and investigation can be done.  While the report clearly explores in depth through interviews and investigation the events post-1998, the absence of inquiry and scrutiny at other times and places and the role of Second Mile and Sandusky’s vehicle and its relationship with Penn State is yet to be explored as an example.  Make no mistake, we are pleased and praise that this is a strong beginning to a more full and complete accounting where responsibility can be ascribed and understood and most importantly action taken so that others are not harmed and systemic institutional failures such as this are not repeated.  There are many lessons learned and yet to be and on the shoulders of the survivors of the survivors who have broken the silence and who break the silence every day, we all stand in gratitude and with them in humility for a better tomorrow.

Where do we go from here?  Criminal prosecution of Schultz and Curly of course remain a part of the picture yet to be revealed and the civil litigation where the scope of the inquiry and statements taken under oath is yet to begin.  Through that process more painful truth can be revealed.  It is our goal and the goal of other survivors and all of those with whom we work is to help us understand what has been so that we can construct what needs to be and when it comes to Penn State, what needs to be is that they need to be a leader in child protection and commit a fraction of the resources to child protection and bringing healing to those that have been harmed than they have to the development of a leading football program.  This report and the investigation is a strong start in leadership towards that end.  Truth telling and revealing is a strong start toward an attribute of leadership and for that this is a strong start.

We are concerned that the scope of this investigation may be self-serving as the parameters seem to be so limited in time.  We are reminded of the Catholic Conference of Bishop who commissioned the John Jay College to do a study of the problem but only gave them limited amounts of information thus made the scope of it so limited it became a self-serving public relations ploy.  While we believe that Louis Freeh and his team are inscrutable and impeccable in the efforts that have been made, we have serious questions about the limitations of scope and look forward to further inquiry into how long this concealment and systemic failure has persisted with the hopes of making sure all those that have been harmed are reached and just importantly those in the future are not harmed by the institutional and systemic failures that are so painfully demonstrated in this report and other recent revelations.

Marci Hamilton:
The Freeh Report is one brick in the wall of truth and shows the pattern of endangering children we have seen in one institution after another.  There is much more to be learned through the criminal justice system and the survivors who have yet to come forward Thanks to the brave survivors who started us on this path.


Attorney Jeff Anderson is a nationally known St. Paul, Minnesota-based trial lawyer widely recognized as a pioneer in sexual abuse litigation.  Anderson has offices in cities across the United States, is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and represents victims arising out of the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report and the Penn State/Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.  For over three decades Anderson has represented thousands of survivors of sexual abuse by authority figures.

Contact Jeff Anderson:  Office 651.227.9990 Mobile  612.817.8665

Attorney and Professor Marci Hamilton, co-counsel to Jeff Anderson & Associates, is one of the United States’ leading constitutional legal scholars, as well as an expert on the First Amendment.  Professor Hamilton holds the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, and is the author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2005), and Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge 2008) Professor Hamilton is a 1988 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.  She clerked for Judge Edward R. Becker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court.  She received a Masters Degree in Philosophy and another in English at Penn State.

Contact Marci Hamilton:  Mobile 215.353.8984

Download Freeh Report here: