Paterno Knew About Sandusky’s Sexual Abuse Long Ago, Court Records Reveal

Unsealed court records have revealed that according to testimony, Joe Paterno knew about Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse as far back as 1976, per the Washington Post.

A man, only known as John Doe 150, testified in 2014 that while he was attending a Penn State football camp in 1976 at the age of 14, Jerry Sandusky touched him inappropriately while the boy was in the shower. The boy asked to speak with Penn State head coach Joe Paterno about the incident, and after explaining what had happened to the coach, Paterno allegedly brushed off the complaint.

“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?’” John Doe 150’s lawyer asked during the deposition.

“Specifically. 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?”

According to the New York Times, John Doe 150 went on to testify that in response to those questions, Paterno simply walked away without saying another word.

The formerly sealed court documents, which were released on July 12, indicate that there were many allegations of sexual assault by Jerry Sandusky before the first reports of such activity were made to police in 1998. Over the 22-year span from 1976-1998, Sandusky, then an assistant football coach at Penn State, was observed multiple times engaging in inappropriate interactions with young boys, according to court records.

A man identified as John Doe 75 testified that in 1987, Sandusky put his hand down the boy’s shorts (John Doe 75 was 13 years old at the time). This incident was witnessed by another Penn State assistant football coach, Joe Sarra, according to John Doe 75’s version of events. Sarra reportedly left the room and closed the door behind him after seeing Sandusky with the boy.

The testimony of one victim, as well as several Penn State staffers, reveals that Jerry Sandusky’s behavior with young boys was common knowledge to those involved with the Penn State football program during those years. In response to the contents of the unsealed court documents, the lawyer representing the Paterno family has released a statement.

“From the beginning, the Paterno family has been outspoken in their desire for the complete truth in the Sandusky tragedy…the overwhelming evidence confirms that Joe Paterno never engaged in a cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s crimes.

“When the Sandusky scandal first became public in 2011, there was a lot of rhetoric in the media about using this case as a model to help prevent other child sex abuse scandals. Sadly, one of the lessons from the Sandusky tragedy is how not to investigate a crime of this type.”

The extent of Paterno’s knowledge regarding Sandusky’s sex crimes has been a topic of debate for years. The Inquisitr previously reported what the unsealed court documents now reveal — that Joe Paterno may have known about these incidents as far back as 1976.

According to ESPN, Jerry Sandusky was convicted of sexual abuse in June of 2012. He received a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison for his crimes.

Joe Paterno died in early 2012, but in his last recorded interview, he maintained that he had no knowledge of Jerry Sandusky engaging in any kind of sexual abuse while a member of Penn State’s coaching staff.

The release of court documents in the Sandusky case was triggered due to an attempt by Penn State University to obtain insurance reimbursement for the $92 million in civil claims that have been paid out to Sandusky’s victims by the school. In addition to settling 32 civil lawsuits related to the Sandusky scandal, Penn State chose to take down a statue of Joe Paterno after allegations surfaced that Paterno may have known of Sandusky’s activities.

Joe Paterno knew that Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys 35 years before the accusations against Sandusky became public, according to court testimony. In football, there are winners and losers. With regard to the Sandusky scandal, however, there are sadly no winners.

[Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]