Joe Paterno participated in a 13-year conspiracy to hide Jerry Sandusky's sexual crimes against children from authorities ... so says a new report issued by investigators connected to the Sandusky case.
The Freeh Group --an independent investigative task force hired by the Penn State University Board of Trustees -- released its report moments ago ... and according to investigators, Paterno, along with the most senior leaders of PSU, "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade."
In fact, the Freeh report concludes ... Paterno ... along with PSU president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz "repeatedly concealed critical facts" in order to prevent bad publicity for the school.
According to the report, Paterno knew about allegations concerning Sandusky since at least March of 1998 ... but failed to take any action to prevent Sandusky from having contact with young children.
"They showed no concern about the victim," the report reads.
"At the very least, Mr Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building."
The report says Paterno failed to take immediate action after Mike McQueary told him about Sandusky raping a boy in the gym shower in Feb. 2001 because Paterno "did not want to interfere with people's weekend."
The Freeh report classifies PSU's non-action as "catastrophic failures."
Just last month, Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse ... and will most likely spend the rest of his disgusting life rotting away in prison.
Joe Paterno died back in January at the age of 85.