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Paterno Family Wants Freeh, Attorney General's Office to Release All Emails and Records

by on July 02, 2012 5:45 PM

Three days after emails were leaked to CNN indicating former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was allegedly involved in the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse, the Paterno family fired back for the second time since Saturday.

In a statement released Monday by their lawyer Wick Sollers, the Paterno family supported the late patriarch and called for a full release of any emails and records currently in possession of former FBI director Louis Freeh, who is leading an internal investigation of the university, and the Attorney General's Office. 

The family said while they do not know who is behind the leaked emails, it indicates a lack of commitment to a fair and thorough investigation, something Paterno persistently sought since the scandal broke in November.

Sandusky, 68, was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He is currently incarcerated in the Centre County Correctional Facility, where he awaits his sentence pending any necessary psychological evaluations or otherwise. 

Former Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have a pre-trial hearing scheduled for July 11 in the Dauphin County Courthouse in Harrisburg. Both men have sought a dismissal of all of the charges against them. They face criminal charges of perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury, as well as failure to report charges.

Statement from the Paterno family released Monday:

From the moment the Jerry Sandusky crisis erupted, Joe Paterno patiently and persistently called for a thorough and professional investigation.  He abhorred the rush to judgment that occurred last November and he spoke out forcefully for a comprehensive review that protected no one while preserving due process for everyone.  Coach Paterno emphasized that the best way to serve the victims and protect the reputation of Penn State was by a total commitment to uncovering the full truth.

With the leaking of selective emails over the last few days, it is clear that someone in a position of authority is not interested in a fair or thorough investigation. To be clear, the Paterno family does not know the source or sources of these leaks.  The question that needs to be asked is why this breach of confidentiality, which seeks to preempt the Freeh report and undermine the courts, is not being objected to or otherwise addressed by those in a position of authority. It should not be the responsibility of the Paterno family to call for an honest, independent investigation. Given the seriousness and complexity of this case, everyone should be demanding the full truth, not just carefully selected excerpts of certain emails.

Releasing these emails in this way is not intended to inform the discussion but to smear former Penn State officials, including Joe Paterno. The truth is Joe Paterno reported the 2001 incident promptly and fully. He was interviewed by the Grand Jury for a total of 8 minutes and told the truth to the best of his recollection. He was never interviewed by the University. He was not afforded due process and his story was never fully told.  And he was never allowed to see the files and records that are now in question. In spite of these facts, however, numerous pundits and critics are exploiting these disconnected and distorted records to attack Joe Paterno.

Accordingly, the Paterno family today is calling on the Freeh Group and the Attorney General's office to immediately release all emails and records they have related to this case. The public should not have to try and piece together a story from a few records that have been selected in a calculated way to manipulate public opinion. Joe Paterno didn't fear the truth, he sought the truth. His guidance to his family and his advisors was to pursue the full truth.  This is the course we have followed for 9 months. It is the course we will follow to the end.

Statement from Penn State spokesman Dave La Torre:

We have and will continue to decline comment until the Freeh Report has been released to the public.

Related coverage:

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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