Judge Unveils Controversial Depositions Regarding Penn State’s Handling of Sexual Abuse Incidents

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

A Philadelphia judge unveiled depositions that shed light on the details of disturbing claims, revealed in May, that Penn State officials were aware of sexual abuse allegations regarding Jerry Sandusky far earlier than originally thought.

The documents stirred the pot of controversy surrounding Sandusky as well as former head football coach Joe Paterno and other university officials.

The stories of four alleged sexual abuse victims were addressed in multiple cases detailed in documents released by a judge in the university’s courtroom clash with its commercial general liability insurer, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Company. The documents could reveal whether Penn State officials knew about inappropriate incidents regarding Sandusky decades ago and chose not to alert the insurance company.

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Penn State President: No Evidence Paterno Knew About Sandusky Assault in 1976

Penn State president Eric Barron (Michelle Bixby, Penn State) and Joe Paterno (Richard Paul Kane, Shutterstock)

Left: Penn State president Eric Barron (Michelle Bixby, Penn State) Right: Joe Paterno (Richard Paul Kane, Shutterstock.com)

Penn State University president Eric Barron denounced a string of new allegations about the extent of the university’s knowledge of Jerry Sandusky‘s sexual abuse of children, and criticized the media for continuing to scrutinize the school, four years after Sandusky was convicted on dozens of sexual assault charges.

Barron shared his thoughts in a letter that was posted on Penn State’s website on Sunday, while the university was still reeling from the deluge of claims about Sandusky, who continues to cast a haunting shadow over the school even while he festers behind bars.

The first shockwave hit last Wednesday, in court documents tied to a legal battle between Penn State and its general liability insurer, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Company, over the more than $90 million in settlements that the university has paid out to Sandusky’s victims. Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Glazer wrote that PMA claims a boy told late football coach Joe Paterno in 1976 that he’d been abused by Sandusky. The insurance company also claims that two assistant coaches witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and children in the late 1980s, and that another molestation claim had been reported to an athletic director around that same time.

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Court Docs: Joe Paterno Knew About Sandusky’s Child Sex Abuse in 1976

Joe Paterno, Penn State football coach, raises fingers in a victory gesture after Penn State defeated North Carolina State 19-10 at University Park, Pennsylvania, Saturday, Nov. 11, 1978.

Joe Paterno, Penn State football coach, after a victory over North Carolina State on November 11, 1978.

Did Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno know about Jerry Sandusky’s horrific pedophiliac ways 40 years ago?

That disturbing possibility was raised in a court filing Wednesday, as part of an ugly legal battle between Penn State and the university’s commercial general liability insurer, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Company. At the heart of the dispute is whether PMA should cover some or all of the $60 million the university has paid out in settlements to victims of Sandusky in recent years, based on what Penn State officials knew about Sandusky — and when.

Common Pleas Court Judge Gary Glazer referenced a long-ago alleged report of abuse in an opinion that delved into the particulars of Penn State’s various policies with PMA. The line that grabbed the most attention, of course, referred to Paterno. Read more »

Jerry Sandusky Appears in Pa. Court to Appeal Conviction


Update, 4 p.m.: Jerry Sandusky attended Monday’s hearing wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, according to ABC News. As he entered the courthouse, Sandusky reportedly told reporters to “read what has been written,” and offered no other commentary on his chances for a new trial.

The presiding judge, John Cleland, questioned Sandusky’s attorney Al Lindsay as to whether there really is a strong enough argument for him to grant an evidentiary hearing almost four years after his client’s conviction.  Read more »

Court Rules Jerry Sandusky Can Get Pennsylvania Pension Back


A Commonwealth Court panel ruled unanimously today that Jerry Sandusky is still entitled to his state pension despite being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys.

Sandusky, the Penn State football team’s defensive coordinator from 1977 to 1999, was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse in 2012 and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

As a result, he lost his $4,900-a-month state pension when the State Employees Retirement System (SERS) ruled he was no longer eligible for it. Sandusky lost an appeal, but his lawyer vowed to keep fighting.

In conflict is the Pennsylvania law regarding pensions. Prior to 2004, when an amended law was passed, Pennsylvanians could only lose their state pensions if they were convicted of financial crimes. The 2004 law was not made retroactive, so Sandusky’s crimes do not apply. Read more »

Mayor Nutter Likes Car-Free Streets, Too


Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

• Mayor Nutter wants to repeat Popeadelphia’s car-free streets, too — and soon.

One of the clear successes of the papal visit was how Philadelphians — and our visitors — embraced the car-free streets of the “Francis Festival Grounds” as a place to jog, play football, and generally saunter in relaxed, neighborly fashion. An “Open Streets PHL” campaign had gotten under way to persuade the next mayor to create a car-free weekend next year. Mayor Nutter is way ahead of that: PhillyVoice.com reports he wants to repeat the experiment this year, before he leaves office.

“Mayor Nutter is excited about the possibilities for creating an innovative Urban Commons on a section of Center City,” a spokesman told the website. The commons area would be “considerably smaller than the Francis Festival Grounds, for biking, walking, running, skateboarding, rollerblading and a range of programming.” The administration will be contacting “impacted stakeholders” soon to figure out how to pull it off. Read more »

New Sandusky Accuser Asks Court to Order Criminal Charges


A man who says Jerry Sandusky molested him during the 1980s is asking a court to order criminal charges in the matter.

“The man, now 43 years old and living in Massachusetts, was 16 at the time he attended a Sandusky-run football camp on the Penn State campus,” AP reports. “His private criminal complaint filed in Centre County alleges two incidences of abuse in which he claims Sandusky subjected him to fondling and oral sex.”

Sandusky’s lawyer denied the allegations. Read more »

Penn State AD: Paterno’s Legacy Will Be Restored

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

How long before Joe Paterno’s statue returns to Happy Valley?

With the sidelining of most NCAA sanctions following the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the restoration of Paterno’s wins record, the full restoration of JoePa’s legacy on campus has seemed only a matter of time. Sandy Barbour, Penn State’s new athletic director, basically confirmed that this week in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I have no doubt that at the right time, as some of the legal issues have been sorted through . . . Penn State will honor not only Joe Paterno’s legacy but the Paterno family’s legacy,” Barbour told the Inky’s editorial board. “We’ll know when it’s time.” Read more »

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