Unsealed Court Docs Show Joe Paterno Ignored Sexual Abuse Claims
July 12 / Jake O'Donnell / SportsGrid
It's one thing to think that a claim of sexual abuse is a lie, but it's entirely different to ignore it because you think it's a lie. Worse still, ignoring such claims directed at the same person multiple times is a terrifying pattern -- one that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno seemed rather comfortable with.
Unsealed court documents show just how callous Paterno was when confronted with the fact that his defense coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was actively molesting children on the school's campus.
The victim, who was identified in court records as John Doe 150, said that while he was attending a football camp at Penn State, Sandusky touched him as he showered. Sandusky’s finger penetrated the boy’s rectum, Doe testified in court in 2014, and the victim asked to speak with Paterno about it. Doe testified that he specifically told Paterno that Sandusky had sexually assaulted him, and 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?'” the man’s lawyer asked him in 2014.
“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?”
Paterno, the man testified, just walked away.
Prior to testimonies like this one, the earliest any Penn State official was thought to be aware of Sandusky's crimes was 1998 (at least that's the line the school had been pushing). As it turns out, victims' claims were documented AT LEAST twenty years prior.
...a court order noted that one of Penn State’s insurers claimed that “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 cited 1987 and 1988 references to unnamed assistant coaches witnessing the contact between Sandusky and unidentified children and a 1988 case that allegedly was referred to Penn State’s athletic director. According to a review of the case file by PennLive, the order states that all of this is in victims’ depositions taken as part of an insurance case that is still pending.
Penn State's President Eric Barron still refuses to acknowledge any of this, saying "the alleged knowledge of former Penn State employees is not proven, and should not be treated as such."
Way to dig your heels in, PSU.
Be the first to know
Want FREE Fantasy and Betting Advice and Savings Delivered to your Inbox? Sign up for our Newsletter.