a new report from NBC News alleges.Multiple Penn State assistant coaches were aware of the predatory activity of Jerry Sandusky,
According to the report, “as many as six” Penn State assistants witnessed “inappropriate behavior” between Sandusky and boys. These alleged incidents stretch “as far back as the 1970s,” the report says. Sandusky, a defensive assistant on the staff of Joe Paterno from 1969-1999, is currently serving 30-60 years in prison after being found guilty on 45 counts of sexual abuse in June 2012. Sandusky, 72, was convicted of molesting 10 boys dating as far back as 1994.
The report, which cites “court documents and multiple sources with direct knowledge of legal proceedings,” says it is unknown if any of these coaches reported Sandusky to Penn State administration. The report references alleged incidents from the late 1970s and the “early and mid-1990s.”
From NBC News:
Sources told NBC News that one former Penn State assistant coach witnessed an incident in the late 1970s. Three other coaches — who have gone on to work in the NFL and at Division I colleges — allegedly saw inappropriate conduct between Sandusky and boys in the early and mid-1990s.
“You won’t believe what I just saw,” one of those three coaches blurted out after bursting into a room filled with Penn State football staff, according to sources who spoke to a person who was in that room.
A lawyer for one of the three ’90s coaches denied his client had seen anything. A second coach declined to comment. A third could not be reached, and the name of the fourth was not disclosed to NBC News.
Bolstering the sources’ account, Sandusky’s adopted son, Matt, who says he also was molested, told NBC News that investigators informed him a football program employee witnessed his father performing a sex act on him in a locker room in the early 1990s.
Penn State issued a statement Friday night in response to NBC’s report:
“The university is facing and has faced a number of litigation matters and claims related to the Sandusky events. Allegations of various kinds have been made, and will likely continue to be made. The university does not speculate publicly or hypothesize about individual allegations. These are sensitive matters, and we want to be respectful of the rights of all individuals involved. It would be inappropriate to do otherwise,” the statement said.
“Penn State has continuously expressed its concern for victims of child abuse and its overarching commitment to not only ensuring our campuses are safe for children, but to also helping to build greater awareness of child sexual abuse and maltreatment. In the past five years, Penn State has enacted a multitude of reforms focused on fighting child abuse, and has introduced best practices in governance, management and compliance.”
The NBC report comes a day after a line in a court order emerged indicating Paterno, PSU’s longtime head coach who died in January 2012, may have been informed of abuse by Sandusky in 1976.
“In 1976, a child allegedly reported to PSU’s Head Football Coach Joseph Paterno that he (the child) was sexually molested by Sandusky,” the order read.
That bit of new information, which surfaced from a lawsuit between Penn State and an insurance company over the millions of settlement dollars owed to Sandusky’s victims, was coupled with references to unnamed assistant coaches allegedly witnessing inappropriate conduct from Sandusky in 1987 and 1988.
“In 1987, a PSU Assistant Coach is alleged to have witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and a child at a PSU facility. In 1988, another PSU Assistant Coach reportedly witnesses sexual contact between Sandusky and a child; and also in 1988, a child’s report of his molestation by Sandusky was allegedly referred to PSU’s Athletic Director. There is no evidence that reports of these incidents ever went further up the chain of command at PSU,” the order read.
It doesn’t end there.
Another report, this time from CNN, was also published Friday night. This report quotes an alleged victim of Sandusky who says a man he believes was Paterno ignored his claims of abuse over the phone.
The alleged victim, a 62-year-old State College native, is “Sandusky’s oldest known victim,” the report says. He says he was raped by Sandusky in 1971, when Sandusky was a 27-year-old assistant linebacker coach. The man was just 15 at the time.
Sandusky was 27, a budding public figure who’d played football for Penn State in the 1960s and was one year into his tenure as an assistant linebacker coach. This was long before he started his now-closed children’s charity, The Second Mile, which prosecutors would later call his victim factory.
Victim A says he was hitchhiking when Sandusky picked him up, bought him beer, gave him pot – and then attacked him as he was standing at a urinal in a Penn State bathroom.
“I felt his presence behind me,” he said. “I felt his left knee on the back of my knee, and his arms went around me, grabbing my …” he trails off. “He said, ‘Let me help you with this.'”
Victim A said he jerked his head back, hitting Sandusky in the jaw. His head started bleeding and they both fell to the floor.
“Then there was a wrestling session,” he says. “And I lost. One thing led to another and the crime happened.”
The man says he told his foster parents after his foster mother noticed the cut on his head. His foster parents, the report says, knew “many high-ranking school officials” and called the school.
A day after the assault, Victim A’s foster mom noticed the cut on his head. She pestered him about what happened. And when he told her, she and her husband — who owned a local bowling alley and knew many high-ranking school officials — called Penn State against his wishes. “I was blindsided,” he said, adding that his foster father told him, “I assure you the police won’t be called, but you gotta tell these people what happened.”
He found himself on the phone with two men from Penn State.
“I tell them what happened — well, I couldn’t get it out of me that I was — I can’t even tell it to this day. It’s just degrading — that I was raped,” he said. “I told the story up to a certain point. I told them that he grabbed me and that I got the hell out of there.”
He insisted that he “made it very clear” it was a sexual attack.
“I made it clear there were things done to me that I just can’t believe could have been done to me and I couldn’t escape. I said, ‘I’m very upset and scared and I couldn’t believe I let my guard down.’ They listened to me. And then all hell broke loose.
“They were asking me my motive, why I would say this about someone who has done so many good things.”
They accused him of making it up. “‘Stop this right now! We’ll call the authorities,'” he said they told him.
Victim A says he couldn’t think. “I just wanted to get off the phone.”
The alleged victim says he spoke on the phone to two men: “Jim” and “Joe.”
The men on the phone had introduced themselves as Jim and Joe, he said. He had no idea who Jim was, and can’t, to this day, say for sure.
“There was no question in my mind who Joe was,” he said. “I’ve heard that voice a million times. It was Joe Paterno.”
The man’s account was corroborated, the report says, by two friends, one of whom is a Pennsylvania state trooper.
He has never before spoken publicly about the abuse, or what happened afterward, but he did confide in a friend in the 1970s, and that friend has also verified his story to CNN.
In addition, a Pennsylvania State Trooper, a longtime friend of this man, also confirmed to CNN that days after Sandusky’s initial arrest in November 2011, he told the trooper his story. Around that same time, this alleged victim hired a lawyer who alerted the state Attorney General’s Office and also Penn State University to his existence.
Though the man was never interviewed by criminal investigators (he fell outside the statute of limitations), he received a settlement from Penn State, the report says. The man first spoke with CNN late last year, but was prompted to finally come forward after news of the alleged 1976 victim emerged Thursday.
When he learned Thursday night that he’s not the only one who came forward four decades ago, he said he was overcome with relief.
“That kind of took the wind out of me,” he said. “I knew, I had a feeling when I first came forward that this wasn’t going to be the end. There’s going to be more people and there is, there was. It’s crazy. I am just kind of lost for words right now.”
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