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Paterno family claims Penn State report is ‘factually wrong, flawed’

Penn State students rally around Coach Joe Paterno

By CNN Staff

(CNN) — The family of the late Joe Paterno released a report Sunday morning that absolved the coaching great of blame in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and said a prior review commissioned by Penn State University was “factually wrong, speculative and fundamentally flawed. “

Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh put together the new report, the Paterno family said in a written statement.

“The experts determined that the conclusions of the (university) report are based on raw speculation and unsupported opinion — not facts and evidence,” Thornburgh said, according to the statement.

The statement said Paterno never attempted to hide any information or impede any investigation into Sandusky’s activities while using Penn State facilities.

After Sandusky was arrested in November 2011, the university funded a review of the scandal led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Freeh’s 267-page review was released in July 2012 and blamed Paterno, former university President Graham Spanier, suspended Athletic Director Tim Curley and ex-Vice President Gary Schultz for allegedly taking part in a cover-up to avoid bad publicity.

The scandal led to Spanier’s ouster and shocked the nation after Freeh’s team concluded that the school’s top administrators had “empowered” Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for the football team, to continue his abuse.

Sandusky, who ran a charity for disadvantaged children while in retirement, was convicted last June on 45 counts of child sex abuse. In October, the 68-year-old former coach was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

Paterno died in January 2012.

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