Former FBI director Louis Freeh, who conducted an investigation in the case surrounding Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse and the involvement of such Penn State employees as the recently late Joe Paterno and officials like President Graham Spanier, has released his 267-page report in the independent investigation, finding that the implicated officials and Penn State were responsible for concealing vital facts in the scandal of Sandusky's sex abuse.

The Freeh report, based on interviews with 430 witnesses and the examination of 3.5 million emails and documents, determines that, "In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the university — Spanier [Vice President Gary] Schultz, Paterno and [Athletic Director Tim] Curley — repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse."

The report also specified that, on at least two occasions, Penn State and its officials had clear opportunities to deal with Sandusky's incidents of abuse, based on reports that came in at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times. One official was even quoted writing that the publicity could open "Pandora's box."

"Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State," Freeh said. "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."

While it is widely recognized that the report will hurt the reputations of Penn State and Paterno, who died of cancer in January of this year, Freeh made it clear that protecting reputations is not the point of the report. "We have a great deal of respect for Mr. Paterno," Freeh said at a news conference today. "He has a terrific legacy, a great legacy. We're not singling him out, but put him in the same category with four other people …. But the facts are the facts …. There is a whole bunch of evidence for the reasonable conclusion that he was an integral part of the active decision to conceal."

Sandusky is currently awaiting sentencing while in custody for the 45 counts of sexual abuse for which he was convicted.

For more on Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky:

Joe Paterno May Exit Penn State Amid Scandal

Ashton Kutcher Twitter Gaffe Prompts PR Team Takeover

Joe Paterno Fired From Penn State

Mourning Of Joe Paterno Complicated By Scandal