The Slatest

Court Documents Show Sandusky Victim Reportedly Told Joe Paterno of Sexual Abuse as Early as 1976

Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno watches his team during practice on November 9, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania.  

Rob Carr/Getty Images

In 2012, former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse of young boys dating from 1994 to 2009, but, according to a report by the Patriot-News Thursday, Sandusky’s abusive behavior reportedly dated back nearly twenty years earlier to 1976 and was known to head football coach Joe Paterno. The allegation is part of an ongoing court case over the university’s insurance claims related to the Sandusky abuse and the subsequent fallout.

Here’s more from the Patriot-News:

The line in question states that one of Penn State’s insurers has claimed “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 cites separate references in 1987 and 1988 in which unnamed assistant coaches witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and unidentified children, and a 1988 case that was supposedly referred to Penn State’s athletic director at the time. All, the opinion states, are described in victims’ depositions taken as part of the case, but that, according a PennLive review of the case file, are apparently under seal.

Paterno, along with the university president and athletic director, were all ousted after the Sandusky scandal came to light mid-season in 2011. Paterno, however, died months later and was never charged with any crimes. The Freeh Report , authored by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, found that Paterno knew about Sandusky’s abusive behavior, failed to report it, and helped cover it up. The Paterno family has gone to great lengths to clear the late coach’s name. The new allegations would mean that Paterno knew decades earlier about the Sandusky abuse.