(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) — Penn State University on Thursday is bracing for the results of an internal investigation into how the school handled the child sex abuse scandal involving its former assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky.
Last month, Sandusky, 68, was found guilty on 45 counts of child sex abuse. He faces up to 442 years behind bars when he is sentenced later this year.
Emails leaked to media outlets have shown that investigators, led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, are looking into whether top Penn State officials, including legendary football coach Joe Paterno, who died in January, played an active role in deciding not to report Sandusky to the police in 2001, after they were informed of child sex abuse allegations.
In one email reported by CNN, athletic director Tim Curley wrote to former president Graham Spanier and vice president Gary Schultz that he had discussed the allegations against Sandusky with “Joe,” and that Curley did not feel comfortable with “what we agreed were the next steps.” The men ultimately did not report the allegations to authorities, leading to speculation that Paterno and Curley had changed their minds about calling the police.
Attorneys for Curley and Schultz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Other emails released to CNN showed that a former vice president of student affairs had butted heads with Paterno over his need to control the discipline of the football team’s players. Vicky Triponey begged administrators to step in and curb Paterno’s “manipulative” and “abusive” behavior, in which he tried to wrestle authority over disciplinary decisions away from her. She ultimately resigned from the university.
Triponey’s husband told ABC News she declined to comment.
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Susan Scutti, CNN
Erin McClam, CNN
Stephanie Elam, CNN
Sara Stewart, CNN