Philadelphia judge Gary Glazer unsealed thousands of pages of records Tuesday related to the settlement money awarded to accusers of Jerry Sandusky by Penn State.
In one particular document, as referred to in a May court order, a man claims he was abused by Sandusky, the longtime Nittany Lions defensive coordinator, in 1976 at a football camp. The man, who was 14 at the time, claims he told Joe Paterno of the alleged incident, but the coach brushed it off.
From The Washington Post:
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 man is one of 32 persons to receive a settlement payment from Penn State. His deposition was part of a civil case involving the university and Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance Co. (PMA) over which side should cover the cost of the millions of dollars in settlement payouts.
Other depositions detailed similar tales from Sandusky accusers dating back to the 1970s. The documents detail a number of allegations from accusers who say some Penn State assistant coaches had knowledge about inappropriate contact between Sandusky and boys. One man, identified as John Doe 75, testified that an assistant, Joe Sarra, witnessed Sandusky with his hands down his shorts when he was only 13 years old.
From the Post:
A man identified in court documents as John Doe 75 testified that, in 1987, when he was a 13-year-old boy, an assistant coach at Penn State witnessed Sandusky with his hand down the boy’s shorts and did nothing. The boy and Sandusky were alone in a coaches’ meeting room, and Sandusky was touching the boy, Doe testified, when assistant coach Joe Sarra walked into the meeting room. Startled, Sarra, immediately left and closed the door behind him, and Sandusky kissed the boy on his forehead, Doe 75 testified.
Sarra was with the Penn State football program as an assistant or administrative role for 21 seasons, including as a linebackers and defensive line coach, until he retired in 2004. Sarra died in July 2012 at the age of 75.
A similar circumstance is said to have occurred in 1988, allegedly involving Kevin O’Dea, who served as a weight room assistant. O’Dea is a longtime NFL assistant, most recently with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
From the Post:
A man identified as John Doe 101 testified in 2014 that knowledge of Sandusky consorting in questionable ways with young boys who were not his children was well-known within the Penn State football program.
In 1988, Doe 101 said, a weight room assistant named Kevin O’Dea saw the boy lying on a black leather couch in an athletics facility, in his underwear, with Sandusky seated on the floor rubbing the boy’s back.
“Did Mr. O’Dea say anything when he came in and saw that?,” his lawyer asked.
“No,” Doe 101 said.
PMA hired an insurance expert to evaluate Penn State’s overall response to these allegations dating back to the 1976 case. According to PennLive.com, the expert, Raymond Williams, concludes that school officials should have known about Sandusky’s misdeeds.
Williams, who was privy to these previously sealed documents, pointed to six cases, including the one involving former PSU assistant Mike McQueary and the aforementioned instances with Paterno, O’Dea and Sarra.
Williams’ prepared report was part of the documents released Tuesday.
An expert asked by Penn State’s liability insurance provider to assess when key university officials should have had known about child sex-assault allegations involving Jerry Sandusky has identified six different cases dating to 1976.
Risk management expert Raymond Williams said those cases involved three incidents that were reportedly witnessed by other assistant coaches on the Penn State staff at the time, and three others that were reported to university officials.
Williams also pointed to two other cases:
- A report by an alleged victim that was referred to then-Penn State Athletic Director Jim Tarman in 1988.
- The 1998 report that the mother of a boy filed with Penn State’s university police department, was investigated, and later dropped with no charges filed by the Centre County district attorney’s office. Like the 2001 incident, Sandusky’s criminal case had previously established that this incident was known to several of Penn State’s highest-ranking administrators.
These documents came to light after several media organizations pushed for the files behind a May opinion issued by Glazer with respect to the ongoing civil suit between Penn State and PMA over the cost of payouts to Sandusky victims. Glazer’s opinion referenced the 1976 allegation and Joe Paterno’s alleged knowledge and also referenced the possible knowledge of other coaches.
Penn State hoped to keep the records sealed, but Glazer sided with news outlets last month.
Penn State president Eric Barron released a statement about the unveiling of the documents Tuesday morning. It can be read, in full, below:
Today, information is being released by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas related to a lawsuit between Penn State and its insurer, Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association. For its part, the University does not plan to provide additional comment on these matters, as this information has largely already been covered by media.
Penn State’s overriding concern has been, and remains, for the victims of Jerry Sandusky. While individuals hold different opinions, and may draw different inferences from the testimony about former Penn State employees, speculation by Penn State is not useful. We must be sensitive to all individuals involved, and especially to those who may be victims of child sexual abuse. It also makes it much more difficult for Penn State to create an environment where victims of sexual abuse feel comfortable coming forward and where students, faculty and staff feel protected in reporting wrongdoing.
Although settlements have been reached, it also is important to reiterate that the alleged knowledge of former Penn State employees is not proven, and should not be treated as such. Some individuals deny the claims, and others are unable to defend themselves.
Speculation also serves to drive a wedge within the Penn State community. I would ask that we remember our University’s primary mission is to focus on research, education and service. Let’s be respectful of other viewpoints and focus on our mission. The University is committed to ensuring our campuses are safe for children, and to ongoing prevention and education programs and research that contribute to a better society.
I want to thank our Penn State community for caring so deeply about not only our university during these difficult times, but also for the victims of child abuse.
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