Marlton, NJ (PRWEB) July 26, 2012
The results of an investigation into the “cover-up culture” at Penn State show school officials collectively turning their heads as former football coach Jerry Sandusky continued to sexually abuse children, according to an independent investigation commissioned by the university. Conducted in large part by former FBI director Louis Freeh, the report directly names high-ranking university administrators, including President Graham B. Spanier and the late Joe Paterno, as those who showed little concern for the alleged victims of Sandusky as they attempted to suppress information relating to the abuses.
A Pennsylvania jury convicted Sandusky in June of 45 separate criminal offenses for his abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year timespan. He faces a maximum sentence that could span into the hundreds of years. Nationally, as many as one in seven boys and one in four girls suffer sexual abuse before turning 18-years old, according to Turning Point Services, a nonprofit abuse assistance foundation.
Findings contained in Freeh’s report will likely provide excellent material for attorneys representing the victims during negotiations or at trial. Philadelphia County personal injury lawyer Richard P. Console Jr., Console & Hollawell P.C.’s managing partner, agrees with that assessment. “Establishing a timeline of events is critical in any personal injury claim,” he says. “This report casts doubt on any statements university officials previously made about their lack of knowledge of Sandusky’s crimes. Not only that, the report shows who was involved and to what extent. The information is invaluable to the victims and their claims against the university.”
Freeh’s report also condemns the oversight of the Penn State Board of Trustees for failing to create a culture of accountability for the university’s most-senior officials leading up to Sandusky’s eventual arrest. Trustees had no system in place for officials to disclose major risks to the university, like Sandusky’s predatory behavior, and did not demand the disclosure of such risks. The majority of the school’s Board members remained in the dark about abuse allegations until The Patriot News published a story in March, 2011 about the attorney general’s investigation of the former football coach. By that time, the investigation was already a year old.
Child Help, a national organization for the prevention and treatment of child abuse, estimates that sexual abuse accounts for 9.2 percent of all childhood abuse cases. More than five children die each day as the result of some type of neglect or abuse.
Console & Hollawell P.C. is a personal injury law firm helping children who are victims of abuse throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Attorneys at Console & Hollawell have represented more than 4,000 clients and have won tens of millions of dollars in compensation for their losses.