Penn State names ex-FBI chief to probe sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:10am EST

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PHILADELPHIA Nov 21 (Reuters) - Penn State University trustees on Monday named former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh 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" and culture.

Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, was charged this month with multiple counts of sexually abusing young boys over a 15-year period. Two former university officials were charged in an alleged cover-up. All three have stated 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 abuse once they learned of it.

Multiple investigations have been launched into what led to Sandusky's alleged crime 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, who was FBI director from 1993 to 2001, had no previous connection to the university, Frazier said.

Freeh said the team of investigators he has put together will include former FBI agents and prosecutors, including some with experience in pedophile cases.

The team has established its own toll-free hotline for tips relevant to the case.

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