Paterno family seeks release of e-mails by Penn State officials
Bellefonte, PA, United States (4E Sports) – To set things straight once and for all, family of the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno has called for the public release of e-mails written by top university officials in connection with allegation of child sex abuse against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Leaked to several media outlets in the past months, the documents allegedly show that the late football coach and other university officials decided against notifying outside authorities after a graduate assistant spotted Sandusky and a 10-year-old in a compromising position in 2001.
In a statement, Paterno family lawyer Wick Sollers described the leaked documents as “selective” and meant to destroy the reputations of the late coach and others.
“It is clear that someone in a position of authority is not interested in a fair or thorough investigation,” the statement read. “Given the seriousness and complexity of this case, everyone should be demanding the full truth, not just carefully selected excerpts of certain e-mails.”
Sollers then called on the Attorney General’s Office and former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who discovered the correspondence earlier this year as part of an independent investigation commissioned by Penn State, to turn over the e-mail exchange and any other records related to the case.
The e-mail discussion took place two weeks after graduate assistat Mike McQueary reported to school officials seeing Sandusky sodomizing a boy in a locker room showr.
The discussion involved former university president Graham B. Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and ex-vice president Gary Schultz. Though Paterno did not write any of the leaked documents, he is mentioned as having weighed in on the debate.
“Paterno was never allowed to see the files and records that are now in question,” Sollers said in his statement. “However, numerous pundits and critics are exploiting these disconnected and distorted records to attack Joe Paterno.”
The e-mail chain began with a message sent by Schultz on Feb. 26, 2001, suggesting the administrators sit down with Sandusky, report the accusation to his youth charity the Second Mile and notify state child abuse investigators.
Curley allegedly responded the next day, writing that after “talking it over with Joe” he felt they should speak directly with Sandusky, ban him from bringing children onto the campus, and then decide whether to notify outside authorities based on his response.
Curley and Schultz were arrested last year for allegedly lying during their grand jury testimony and failing to report the incident to police. Both have maintained their innocence.
Sandusky was convicted last month on 45 counts of child sex involving 10 boys he met through the Second Mile, which he founded for underprivileged youth. He is awaiting sentence.