Joe Paterno Reportedly Knew About Sandusky In 1976

| by Nicholas Roberts
Joe PaternoJoe Paterno

On May 5, a new and shocking detail in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal was made public.  

It emerged in a line from a court order in an insurance case related to the incident, according to Penn Live, which broke the news.

According to the order, one of Penn State's insurers made the claim that "in 1976, a child allegedly reported to PSU's Head Coach Joseph Paterno that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky."

The order also contains references from incidents in 1987 and 1988 in which Sandusky had inappropriate contact with a number of children and was witnessed by unnamed assistant coaches.

The incidents are described in depositions which were conducted as part of the insurance case, which are still under seal.

Sandusky was a part of Paterno's coaching staff from 1969 to 1999, and in 2012, he was convicted of molesting 10 different boys he met through his Second Mile youth charity between 1994 and 2008.

Paterno's family, as well as many fans and loyalists of Penn State and its football program, have said that Paterno and the wider community were deceived by Sandusky for many years, adding that Sandusky was skilled at manipulating others.

Paterno's son, Scott, tweeted on the morning of May 6 that the allegations of Paterno knowing about Sandusky's conduct in 1976 were "bunk," according to CBS.

" ... [I]t would be great if everyone waited to see the substance of the allegation before they assume it's true," he wrote. "Because it's not."

If the allegations are true, it would mean his father had protected "an obscure assistant coach no one had yet heard of" in 1976, according to Scott.

The Paterno family's attorney, Wick Sollers, also came out with a strong statement disputing the claims made in the order, according to Penn Live:

Over the past four-and-a-half years Joe Paterno's conduct has been scrutinized by an endless list of investigators and attorneys.

Through all of this review there has never been any evidence of inappropriate conduct by Coach Paterno. To the contrary, the evidence clearly shows he shared information with his superiors as appropriate.

An allegation now about an alleged event 40 years ago, as represented by a single line in a court document regarding an insurance issue, with no corroborating evidence, does not change the facts. Joe Paterno did not, at any time, cover up conduct by Jerry Sandusky.

Paterno was fired after Sandusky was arrested in 2011, and he passed away in 2012. He was never charged with any crime.

Sources: Penn Live, CBS News / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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