Janitors who observed Jerry Sandusky performing a sexual act on a young boy in the Lasch Building showers in 2000 kept quiet out of a fear of Joe Paterno and the power he held at Penn State, according to this morning's Freeh Report.
Individuals cited in the report as "Janitor A" and "Janitor B" both observed disturbing behavior in Fall 2000, and the report points to Joe Paterno's "excessive influence" in creating a chilling effect for lower-level Penn State employees to report football team misdoings.
"The University would have closed ranks to protect the football program at all costs," states the report as a characterization of the interview conducted with the janitor last week. The incident "would have been like going against the President of the United States [...] I know Paterno has so much power, if he wanted to get rid of someone, I would have been gone."
In Freeh's press conference this morning, he portrayed this fear as endemic to Penn State's relationship to football as a whole, stating "If that's the culture at the bottom, God help the culture at the top."
Read all our coverage of the Freeh report here.