A recently made public police report strongly suggests legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno may have known about assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of several young boys sooner than he ever publicly admitted.
CNN reported documents obtained by the network “bolsters evidence that Paterno knew years before Sandusky’s arrest that his longtime assistant might be sexually abusing children.”
The new information comes from statements the network attributes to program whistleblower Mike McQueary, whose testimony is largely credited with leading to Sandusky’s conviction and Paterno’s ultimate ouster as the face of the program.
More specifically, CNN reported when fellow Nittany Lions assistant McQueary told Paterno he witnessed Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a team locker room in 2001, the coach responded that it “was the second complaint of this nature he had received.”
The report is said to have been written a decade after Sandusky’s arrest. Sandusky was formally convicted of abusing 10 young boys over 15 years, including three after the alleged 2001 locker room incident, and is now serving a 30-year prison sentence.
Paterno, who died in 2012 of lung cancer, went to his grave denying he knew anything about Sandusky’s sinister behavior prior to the 2001 incident. His testimony before a grand jury asserted the same claims.
Since his death, CNN added that other documents have suggested the coach may have knew about Sandusky more than three decade prior to that time.
McQueary also details how Paterno allegedly told him his wife had once told him she heard from Sandusky’s wife, “Jerry doesn’t like girls.”
McQueary, is now penning a memoir about his time as a Penn State assistant and the Sandusky drama that came to engulf that era. He was previously awarded $12 million judgment against Penn State following a defamation suit.
Paterno family members and loyalists have long defended his honor, insisting the coach knew nothing of Sandusky’s actions.
“I wish I had done more,” Paterno said after he was fired by the university after 46 years as football coach.
Deadline reported that famed filmmaker Barry Levinson is now directing a drama for HBO about Paterno starring Academy Award winner Al Pacino as the coach.
“The film centers on Joe Paterno, who, after becoming the winningest coach in college football history, is embroiled in Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his legacy and forcing him to face questions of institutional failure regarding the victims,” HBO said of the untitled project.
[Featured Image by Rob Karr/Getty Images]