As many as six Joe Paterno assistants personally witnessed Jerry Sandusky abusing children, NBC News revealed today. That report comes on the heels of testimony given in Penn State’s lawsuit against its insurer revealed this week, alleging Paterno knew of Sandusky molesting children as early as 1976.
Sandusky is currently serving 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of molesting ten children, dating back to 1994. More alleged acts dating prior to those brought by the prosecution have emerged in the insurance lawsuit, and now sources tell NBC that a former Penn State assistant witnessed a Sandusky incident “in the late 1970s,” while three other coaches witnessed incidents in the 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.
Sandusky’s adopted son, Matt, also says he was molested—and told NBC News that investigators informed him a football program employee witnessed him being abused in a locker room in the early 1990s. Two other coaches were reported in documents related to Penn State’s lawsuit against its insurer to have witnessed Sandusky molesting children.
Some of the alleged date ranges match up with incidents publicized in 2011 and 2012, and others fit in with those mentioned in sworn testimony—so many of these reports could be referring to the same events. The veracity of any claim coming as hearsay—as the “You won’t believe what I just saw” quote comes—should always be subject to a more critical eye, too. But the number of reports—and the number of victims involved—suggests knowledge of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of children was much more broad amongst Penn State football officials than had previously been understood.