PHILADELPHIA(Reuters) - Penn State University trustees named former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh on Monday to head an independent investigation into the child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the university.
Freeh told a news conference that the investigative team run by his law firm would examine gaps in Penn State's "control environment," oversight and culture that allowed years of alleged abuse to go undetected and unreported.
"The scope of our work will be broad, covering a lengthy period of time," Freeh said.
Jerry Sandusky, 67, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, was charged this month with multiple counts of sexually abusing eight young boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky has denied he abused the boys and said he is not a pedophile. [Marshall: McQueary Guilty of Not Protecting Children]
Two former university officials were charged in an alleged cover-up. They have also said they are innocent.
The board of trustees fired legendary football coach Joe Paterno and Penn State's president for failing to tell police about the allegation of abuse once they learned of it.
Word of the investigation came as a psychologist working with one of Sandusky's alleged abuse victims, now a senior in high school, said his client had been forced to leave school because of bullying.
Paterno's dismissal was said to have triggered the bullying that a youth, known in court papers as "Victim One," has suffered, a local newspaper reported. Paterno's lawyer said his client condemned the bullying. [Penn State as Guilty as Catholic Church on Covering up Sex Abuse.]
Multiple investigations have been launched into what led to Sandusky's alleged crimes and the university's response, including the one by the board of trustees that has now engaged Freeh and his law firm.
"We have to do an investigation that is perceived by everyone as fully impartial and comprehensive," said Ken Frazier, chairman of the trustees' special committee. Freeh, FBI director from 1993 to 2001, has no ties to Penn State. [Hopkins: Student Rioting Loses All Sight of Victims]
"The scope of his work will be expansive, and he is free to take his work to whatever conclusions he deems appropriate," Frazier said, adding that no one, including the trustees, would be exempt from the review.
Some have criticized the trustees for being blind-sided by the grand jury report into Sandusky's alleged crimes and the role that university officials might have played in covering them up, even though the existence of an investigation was reported earlier this year.
There is no specific time-frame for Freeh to complete his investigation and the findings and recommendations will be made public.