The Record

Summary of Findings:

Dr. Fred S. Berlin


Dr. Berlin’s key points:

  1. Pedophilia is a psychiatric condition in which an individual’s sexual orientation is directed either in whole or in part towards young children. Dr. Berlin indicates that it is quite possible that Jerry Sandusky manifested that disorder. (Page 7)
    • Because of the massive social stigma of this condition, most people with strong sexual feelings towards children keep it to themselves. As a result, it can be very difficult to identify a stranger, a colleague or even a close friend with the condition. (Page 7)
    • People with pedophilia tend to show a genuine concern for children and often enjoy spending time with them. That is not the problem. The problem is that pedophiles can act on their attraction, leading to tragic results. (Page 8)
    • The fact that pedophiles often enjoy spending time with children often masks their sexual desires to the outside world. As a consequence, numerous public examples exist documenting just how difficult it can be for friends, colleagues, relatives and close acquaintances to appreciate the risk that such an individual can pose to children.
  2. Joe Paterno responsibly reported his concerns about Sandusky in 2001.
    • No credible evidence exists that shows that Joe Paterno concealed critical facts about Jerry Sandusky from the authorities, the Penn State Board of Trustees or the public.
    • It was not Paterno’s role to further report his concerns to state child welfare authorities, as it is not usually the responsibility of a university football coach to do so.
    • Paterno was in no position to know the extent of Sandusky’s sexual involvement with multiple children, as that information was not made public until the 2012 trial.

In looking back, it is one thing to suggest that perhaps more could have been done. It is another to entirely impugn a lack of good faith and malevolent self-serving motives in the absence of compelling evidence. The Freeh report went far beyond second guessing Joe Paterno’s actions by implying that he had not been acting in good faith. Sadly, Joe Paterno is no longer in a position to defend himself.

The Freeh report’s allegation that Joe Paterno showed “consistent disregard…for the safely and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims” is the complete opposite of Paterno’s demonstration of moral values over the course of his life. His commitment to instilling good values into the minds of his football players, his outstanding work ethic over 61 years, his philanthropic activities and his devotion to his family all point to a man with good character and a life well lead. Dr. Berlin wrote in his report, “in my judgment, coach Paterno is still one of the good guys.”

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