A police report obtained by CNN bolsters evidence that legendary football coach Joe Paterno knew years before Jerry Sandusky’s arrest that his longtime assistant might be sexually abusing children.
The one-page Pennsylvania state police report, obtained from a source and described here for the first time, lays out an account from whistleblower Mike McQueary, who reported to Paterno an incident he had just witnessed in a locker room between Sandusky and a young boy. Paterno allegedly told McQueary in 2001 that the claim against Sandusky “was the second complaint of this nature he had received,” according to the police report, which was written after Sandusky’s arrest 10 years later.
McQueary’s claim of abuse and other allegations led to Sandusky’s conviction in 2012 for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, including three victims after the 2001 locker room incident. He is serving a sentence of at least 30 years in prison. An appeal is pending.
The police report casts fresh doubt on the mountain of denials by Paterno, his family and his loyalists that the coach knew anything of Sandusky’s serial molestation before the 2001 incident.
It contradicts the head coach’s testimony before a grand jury and his published statement a week before he died in 2012 that he “had ‘no inkling’ that Sandusky might be a sexual deviant” until he heard the shocking allegation from McQueary. Other documents unveiled since Paterno’s death suggest the head coach was told of other similar claims as early as the 1970s.
The police report’s absence from the public record — until now — also offers a glimpse into the courtroom strategy that led to Sandusky likely spending the rest of his life in prison.
‘Second complaint of this nature’
McQueary, a one-time Penn State football assistant who became the star witness in the case against Sandusky, told state police in 2011 that he’d visited Paterno on a Saturday morning 10 years earlier to tell him that the previous evening he had witnessed “an extreme sexual act occurring between Sandusky and a young boy” in a football locker room shower, according to the report by Pennsylvania police.
“Paterno, upon hearing the news, sat back in his chair with a dejected look on his face,” the report states, adding that McQueary “said Paterno’s eyes appeared to well up with tears.”
“Then he made the comment to McQueary this was the second complaint of this nature he had received about Sandusky,” the report states, citing McQueary’s…