We’re about one report away from hearing that when they met, Sandusky introduced himself to Paterno as “Jerry Sandusky, child molester.”
In court documents unsealed in a Philadelphia court today, a man known as John Doe 150 testified in 2014 that he told Joe Paterno that he, then age 14 in 1976, was a victim of Sandusky’s. This was the testimony previously alluded to, but is now unsealed:
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.
According to the Washington Post, the court documents contain possibly the most disgusting claim against Paterno yet:
“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.
Meanwhile, the Paterno family is still very much beating the “Joe didn’t do anything wrong” drum that is getting closer to matching the tempo of the “O.J.’s didn’t do it” beat. They said in a statement that PSU’s payout to Sandusky victims was done “‘without fully assessing the underlying facts’ and [it was] ‘something that the University obviously felt they had to do to help resolve this matter.'” They are not happy:
The materials released today relating to Joe Paterno allege a conversation that occurred decades ago where all parties except the accuser are now dead. In addition, there are numerous specific elements of the accusations that defy all logic and have never been subjected to even the most basic objective examination. Most significantly, there is extensive evidence that stands in stark contrast to this claim…
When the Sandusky scandal first became public in 2011, there was a lot of rhetoric in the media about using this case as a model to help prevent other child sex abuse scandals. Sadly, one of the lessons from the Sandusky tragedy is how not to investigate a crime of this type.
The Paterno’s didn’t say what the “extensive evidence” in contrast to that claim is, but the unsealed records also contain “excerpts from depositions given by accusers who contend they reported abuse to Paterno or members of his staff in the 1970s and ’80s.”
Just last week, 200 former lettermen petitioned the school to return the Joe Paterno statue, “return the wall that rested behind the statue and celebrated Penn State accomplishments, and issue a formal apology to Paterno’s widow.” In light of these documents – and the fact that statues, especially those erected while the honoree is still alive, are pretty weird – maybe they should take their wins and their restored scholarships and realize that’s probably good enough.