New court documents uncovered by PennLive.com reportedly indicate that a child reported sexual abuse by Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky to then head coach Joseph Paterno as early as 1976 -- decades before action was taken against the former assistant coach now convicted for multiple counts of child abuse.
The claims, reportedly discovered in filings related to an insurance coverage case involving the school, cite one of Penn State’s insurers who makes the charge in his deposition.
The order also reportedly refers to other references in 1987 and 1988, in which other unnamed assistant coaches said they witnessed inappropriate behavior between Sandusky and other children, as well as a 1988 case that was even referred to the school’s then athletic director.
The actual depositions including those remarks in full are under seal, PennLive.com reported, but other unsealed documents refer to the allegations therein.
"Over the past four-and-a-half years Joe Paterno's conduct has been scrutinized by an endless list of investigators and attorneys," the Paterno family's attorney, Wick Sollers, said in a statement provided to PennLive.com.
"Through all of this review there has never been any evidence of inappropriate conduct by Coach Paterno. To the contrary, the evidence clearly shows he shared information with his superiors as appropriate. An allegation now about an alleged event 40 years ago, as represented by a single line in a court document regarding an insurance issue, with no corroborating evidence, does not change the facts. Joe Paterno did not, at any time, cover up conduct by Jerry Sandusky."
Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, but will have an appeal hearing later this month, CBS Sports reported.