Report: Joe Paterno was aware of Jerry Sandusky abuse in 1976
New court documents unsealed on Tuesday show former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was made aware of Jerry Sandusky’s abusive behavior in 1976, according to a report from The Washington Post.
In these unsealed documents obtained by The Washington Post, a man identified as John Doe 150 testified in 2014 that he was touched by Sandusky while he showered after attending a football camp as a 14-year-old boy. Doe testified that he told Paterno he was sexually assaulted by the assistant coach, but Paterno ignored it.
“Is it accurate that Coach Paterno quickly said to you, ‘I don’t want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about?’” Doe’s lawyer asked him in 2014, according to The Washington Post.
“Specifically,” Doe responded during his testimony. “Yes … I was shocked, disappointed, offended. I was insulted… I said, is that all you’re going to do? You’re not going to do anything else?”
These unsealed documents also claim that Penn State assistant coaches witnessed inappropriate conduct between Sandusky and a child in 1987 and 1988, according to The Washington Post.
These documents were ordered unsealed by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Glazer. Sandusky was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison following his 2012 conviction. The school reached a $93 million settlement with Sandusky’s victims.
Penn State president Eric Barron released a statement on the matter on Tuesday.
“Penn State’s overriding concern has been, and remains, for the victims of Jerry Sandusky,” the statement read. “While individuals hold different opinions, and may draw different inferences from the testimony about former Penn State employees, speculation by Penn State is not useful. We must be sensitive to all individuals involved, and especially to those who may be victims of child sexual abuse.”
Last week, the university received a petition from more than 200 former players asking for Paterno’s statue to return along with a formal apology to the Paterno family. Penn State responded by thanking the former players for their input, but did not provide any indication that the statue would return.