Lansdale lawyer Marc Steinberg says former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s investigation into the Penn State child sex abuse scandal confirms for him that university officials knew about it as far back as 1998 and tried to cover it up, or at least minimize it.
He says he believes the trustees were right in firing long-time Head Football Coach Joe Paterno.
“He was in the midst of this horrible nightmare that has befallen the university and I believe that the university should come above all of the individuals in it. Here you have a great institution that’s being pummeled from every direction and probably rightly so in light of what its leaders did in covering these heinous crimes up.”
Montgomery County State Representative and former police officer Mike Vereb says the obstruction of justice is clear.
“It’s a very tight-knit community up there, and it’s very evident from the Freeh Report that they used that they used that tight-knit community to their advantage to obstruct justice.”
Without the obstruction, Vereb says convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky might have been brought to justice more than a decade ago. In the long run, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Vice President Kristin Houser says cover-ups usually don’t work.
“They only work as long as people don’t talk, and sexual assault victims have to get help regardless of whether an investigation has gone properly.”
Houser says sex abuse cover-ups have been tried in scouts, schools and elsewhere, and in most cases the truth came out eventually. She, Vereb and Steinberg all appeared Monday on the WNPV talk program Comment Please by Univest.