The Jerry Sandusky case is back in the news again after newly unsealed court documents from the ongoing dispute between Penn State and their insurers contained more disturbing information. In May of this year, there were reports that the sealed court documents contained information that former Penn State coach Joe Paterno knew about the allegations against Sandusky as far back as 1976, an allegation that was strongly denied by Paterno’s family.
The now-unsealed documents contained testimony from a victim who testified in 2014 that he had reported the abuse to Paterno when he was just 14-years-old, and the victim alleges that Paterno said that he had a football season to worry about and that he did not want to hear about any of that type of stuff.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 12, 2016
The documents are part of a lawsuit that resulted from a claim by Penn State that their insurer, Pennsylvania Manufacturer’s Insurance Company, should pay part of the legal settlement that they reached with victims of Sandusky’s abuse. The insurance company has argued that Penn State had a duty to inform them about any situation that could have resulted in a liability. Therefore, they are off the hook for instances of abuse where Penn State employees witnessed the abuse and did not report it.
According to the insurer, Penn State should have reported six different instances of abuse to them, but they failed to do so. A report created by Risk Management Expert Raymond Williams points out that three of the instances were witnessed by assistant coaches at the school, and three of the instances were reported to school officials. All six of these cases resulted in financial payouts by the school, while two have gone to court and resulted in Jerry Sandusky being found guilty.
One of the more controversial people in the case is beloved football coach Joe Paterno, who died in 2012. While he denied ever knowing anything about Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of children, a great deal of evidence seems to indicate that he was fully aware of the accusations. A statue of him was removed from the Penn State grounds after the claims that he turned a blind eye to the suffering of the boys were becoming too loud for the university to ignore. Recently, more than 200 former students called for the statute to be returned to the school.
Another claim in the unsealed documents is that numerous Penn State staff members, in addition to Paterno, knew about Sandusky’s abuse of boys, including former athletic director Jim Tarman (who has dementia and cannot answer to these claims), Tom Bradley, Greg Schiano, Joseph Sarra, and Kevin O’Dea. With the exception of assistant coach Mike McQueary, all of the others have denied having any knowledge of Sandusky’s behavior.
Story: Unsealed Mike McQueary deposition says Tom Bradley, Greg Schiano knew of Jerry Sandusky abuse in early ’90s. https://t.co/9g8oRuVEJQ
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 12, 2016
McQueary had testified that he reported to Paterno about witnessing Jerry Sandusky doing something to a boy in the showers back in 2001. In the newly released documents, McQueary also testified that he discussed what he had seen with Tom Bradley, who is now the UCLA defensive coordinator, and that Bradley told him he had heard of things involving Sandusky before. McQueary claimed that Bradley told him that Greg Schiano, who is now the Ohio State defensive coordinator, had witnessed an incident in the locker room involving Sandusky and a boy when he worked at Penn State and that Schiano had gone into Bradley’s office white as a ghost and told him what he had just seen. Both men have denied any knowledge of Sandusky’s behavior.
It is unlikely the full scope of who knew what and when will ever be known, but Penn State has agreed to more than $60 million in compensation for Jerry Sandusky’s victims. Sandusky is appealing his conviction on 45 child molestation charges and has maintained his innocence despite the evidence against him.
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