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Group says PSU leaders showed lack of concern for victims - abc27 WHTM

Group says PSU leaders showed lack of concern for Sandusky's victims

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

An advocacy group for crime victims says Penn State leaders showed an "egregious lack of concern and willful disregard" for Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse victims and chose to protect the university's football program at the expense of the community.

The National Center for Victims of Crime released a statement that said Penn State administrators could have stopped the abuse, but chose instead to protect the abuser and allowed the abuse to continue and more youth to be victimized.

"By shirking their reporting and oversight responsibilities, they put the entire community at risk; they should be ashamed – and must be held accountable," Executive Director Mai Fernandez said in the statement.

The group's statement followed the release of a Penn State internal investigation into the Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.

The investigation, led by former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh, found that the university's most powerful men failed to protect the children victimized by the former assistant football coach for 14 years.

Freeh's report said Penn State president Graham Spanier, head football coach Joe Paterno, vice president Gary Schultz, and athletic director Tim Curley "repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from the authorities, the Board of Trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large."

"It is a sad time for Penn State," Fernandez said. "We are hopeful, however, that the report will lead to changes at this university and at all organizations, particularly those working with children. They need to adopt and support organizational frameworks that require reporting these crimes, making sure that they are investigated, and holding abusers accountable. The culture needs to change; we need to condemn abuse and foster responsibility, particularly when the safety of our children is at stake."

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