New Allegations Challenge
Penn State’s Timeline of
Documents unsealed Tuesday show that accusers claim they reported sexual assaults committed by Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to head coach Joe Paterno or members of his staff as early as 1976. That time frame is well before 1998, the point that the independent Freeh report had established as the earliest date the legendary coach and other school officials knew or should have known about reports to police that Sandusky had sexually abused a child.
The timeline below shows alleged assaults of which Penn State should have been aware, according to the accusers or the Freeh report, either because they were witnessed by Penn State coaches or were reported to school officials.
None of the allegations included in the documents released Tuesday have been independently vetted, but each accuser received a financial settlement from the university. Paterno’s family and all of the coaches identified in the filings deny the allegations that they witnessed or were told of any abuse.
Accusations from documents
unsealed on Tuesday
1976: In 2014 deposition testimony, an accuser (John Doe 150) says that he told Joe Paterno in 1976 that Jerry Sandusky stuck his finger in his anus. Paterno’s response, according to a claim the accuser filed with the university was: “I don’t want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about.”
1987: Another accuser (John Doe 75) claims that in 2014, when he was 13, Penn State assistant football coach Joe Sarra walked in on him while Sandusky had his hands down his shorts. Sarra, the man testified, quickly ducked out of the room, saying, “Oh, sorry.” Sandusky allegedly kissed the boy on the forehead to assure him that everything would be OK.
1988: John Doe 101 alleges in his 2014 deposition that Paterno and other coaches showered alongside him and Sandusky when he was 9 or 10 years old in a private coach’s locker room. He also claims that assistant football coach Kevin O’Dea once saw him lying in his underwear in a coach’s office, while Sandusky rubbed his naked back. O'Dea, in a statement Tuesday, called the claim a "complete fabrication" and said he did not start working at Penn State until 1991.
Also in 1988, John Doe 102 alleges in his 2014 deposition that after reporting his abuse by Sandusky when he was 16 to Clifford Gordon, then head of a local house for troubled boys, he was accused of lying and ordered to apologize to Penn State’s then-athletic director, Jim Tarman. Under oath, however, Doe 102 said he could not be certain the man he spoke to was Tarman.
Assaults about which Penn State officials should have been aware, according to the Freeh report
1998: The mother of the now-28-year-old man who testified as “Victim 6” at Sandusky’s trial reports a possible sexual assault of her son to Penn State police. During the investigation, Sandusky admitted he showered with the boy, but no criminal charges were pursued. The investigation was brought to the attention of university administrators.
2001: Mike McQueary, a Penn State assistant football coach, witnesses Sandusky assaulting a young boy in a locker room shower. He reports it to Paterno and several other university officials are made aware of his claim.
2011: Sandusky is arrested and charged with multiple counts of abusing young boys.
2012: Sandusky is convicted on 45 of 48 of the counts and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.