Unsealed Court Documents: Sandusky Abuse Allegation Was Reported To Joe Paterno In 1976

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A newly unsealed report from a risk-management expert found six different instances where sexual abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky were either witnessed by other coaches or reported to university officials, including a 1976 allegation where one alleged victim made a report directly to head coach Joe Paterno.

The documents are part of a court battle in which Penn State is trying to recoup from its insurance provider millions of dollars paid out in settlements to Sandusky’s victims. That insurance provider’s defense is that Penn State officials kept the allegations secret, and in doing so failed to prevent future instances of abuse.

“Penn State should have notified PMA of the incidents involving Sandusky on a timely basis. Penn State did not do that,” Raymond Williams said.


The documents were unsealed by a judge this morning, and PennLive.com and other local outlets are poring over them as we speak. One of the more important documents appears to be a report prepared by Williams, the risk-management expert hired by the insurance provider to determine when top university officials should have known about the raft of allegations against Sandusky, who was found guilty on 45 charges and will die in prison.

In compiling his report, Williams was given access to information about Penn State’s settlements. This is confidential information, and in addition to citing two more widely known incidents (including that witnessed by Mike McQueary), the report appears to have unearthed four new cases that were not publicly known:

  • A 1976 incident where one alleged victim made a report to Joe Paterno.
  • A 1987 instance of improper sexual contact between Sandusky and a minor that was witnessed by then-assistant coach Joe Sarra.
  • A 1988 instance of improper sexual contact between Sandusky and a child that was witnessed by then-assistant coach Kevin O’Dea.
  • A 1988 incident, the report of which was referred to then-athletic director Jim Tarman.

Update, 9:49 a.m.: Here’s more detail on the 1976 allegation, from the victim’s 2014 court testimony.

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.

The allegations revealed today come from testimony and evidence provided in PSU’s settlements with the alleged victims. Williams was able to view documents concerning those settlements, but those actual documents remain sealed.


Today’s release occurred only about 90 minutes ago. Expect more new information to surface over the course of the day.