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Report on Penn State's response to Sandusky accusation due Thursday

Gary Cameron / Reuters file

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was hired in November to determine whether Penn State University officials knew about child sex abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The results of an internal investigation of Pennsylvania State University’s response to child sexual abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will be made public on Thursday.

An announcement Tuesday indicated a report on the investigation led by former FBI chief Louis Freeh would be posted online Thursday at 9 a.m. ET. It said Freeh would hold a news conference an hour later to discuss its findings and recommendations.

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“We look forward to seeing the report on Thursday and reviewing Judge Freeh's recommendations,” said Penn State spokesman David La Torre. “The university will provide a response in Scranton on Thursday at a time and location to be announced.”

Sandusky, 68, was found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse last month and is currently in prison awaiting sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of more than 400 years in prison.

Freeh was hired by the university in November to review of the university's dealings with Sandusky and its response to a 2001 report that he sexually abused of a boy in a Penn State shower room, an incident witnessed by football assistant Michael McQueary.

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier has come under particular scrutiny in recent weeks amid news reports suggesting that he was made aware of suspicious activity involving Sandusky in 2001 and that no report of the incident was made to authorities.

Citing emails obtained by Freeh’s investigators, CNN reported last week that Spanier and two other university officials — Gary Schultz, the former senior vice president of finance and business, and Tim Curley, the athletic director on administrative leave — agreed to take a "humane" approach in dealing with  Sandusky following his alleged sexual encounter with a boy.

Instead of reporting the incident to police, according to the report, administrators instead planned to ask Sandusky to seek counseling and said they would tell officials at the Second Mile, the charity he founded and where he met many of the children he would later abuse, about their concerns.

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Attorneys for Spanier fired back earlier Tuesday, saying their client was never informed about the shower room incident involving Sandusky.

"At no time in the more than 16 years of his presidency at Penn State was Dr. Spanier told of an incident involving Jerry Sandusky that described child abuse, sexual misconduct or criminality of any kind, and he reiterated that during his interview with Louis Freeh and his colleagues,'' Spanier's attorneys, Peter Vaira and Elizabeth Ainslie, said in a written statement.

In addition, Freeh’s report is expected to include information about the actions of former head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of McQueary’s allegations. Paterno, a legend in college football, died of lung cancer in January at 85.

In a statement Tuesday, Paterno's family also pushed back against the leak of emails to CNN, including one in which Curley stated, "After giving it more thought, and talking it over with Joe yesterday - I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps."

"The media spin that this is proof of some sort of cover up is completely false," the statment said. "When the facts come out, it will be clear that Joe Paterno never gave Tim Curley any instructions to protect Sandusky or limit any investigation of his actions.

"Joe Paterno did not cover up for Jerry Sandusky.  Joe Paterno did not know that Jerry Sandusky was a pedophile.  Joe Paterno did not act in any way to prevent a proper investigation of Jerry Sandusky.  To claim otherwise is a distortion of the truth.

The Sandusky scandal led to the ouster of Spanier and Paterno and charges against Curley, who is on leave from the university, and Schultz, who has since retired.  The latter two are accused of perjury for their grand jury testimony and failing to properly report suspected child abuse.

Spanier hasn't been charged.

Chip Bell, Tom Winter and Julmary Zambrano of NBC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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