Ben Simmoneau reports
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former FBI director Louis Freeh will lead an investigation into the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University, where the board of trustees says Freeh will have complete independence.
At a press conference this morning in Philadelphia, Freeh said the major condition of his agreeing to lead the investigation is that he will have free rein to follow the charges wherever they may lead.
“We have been asked to do this with a commitment to show no favoritism toward any of the parties whose actions we will be reviewing, including the board of trustees,” Freeh said.
Freeh will report his findings to a special committee, chaired by trustee Kenneth Frazier (in background of top photo). Frazier today offered the trustees’ apology to the victims of the alleged child abuse by former football defensive coach Jarry Sandusky.
“We know that no one can go back in time and right the wrongs that have taken place, but the special committee is determined to do everything in our power to prevent such heinous events from ever occurring again in the future,” Frazier said.
Frazier says the committee will include trustees, two students, and astronaut Guy Bluford, a 1964 graduate of Penn State.
Freeh said his inquiry will go as far back as 1975, a much longer period than a grand jury report issued earlier this month, and said his goal was to conduct a comprehensive, fair, and quick review.
Penn State had faced criticism when it announced that its internal investigation would be led by two university trustees, Merck pharmaceutical company CEO Kenneth Frazier and Pennsylvania state education secretary Ronald Tomalis.
Faculty members on Friday called for an independent investigation of how the university handled abuse allegations, and the faculty senate endorsed a resolution asking for an investigation to be led by a committee whose chair has no links to Penn State.
Freeh founded an investigative firm after leading the FBI from 1993 to 2001. He previously served six years as a special agent.
Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of molesting eight boys over a 15-year period. Authorities say some assaults happened on campus and were reported to administrators but not to police.
Amid the scandal, Penn State’s trustees ousted university president Graham Spanier and head coach Joe Paterno. The trustees said Spanier and Paterno failed to act after a graduate assistant claimed he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a campus shower in 2002.
Paterno, who has the most wins of any major college football coach, has conceded he should have done more. Spanier has said he would have reported a crime if he had suspected one had been committed.
Sandusky has said he is innocent. He has acknowledged he showered with boys but said he never molested them.
Former school administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are charged with not properly alerting authorities to suspected abuse and with perjury. They maintain their innocence.
If anyone has any questions or information about the investigation, they can call 1-855-290-3382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060