Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew that his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing a child as early as 1976, according to a claim by an insurance company.
This date is 18 years before what had been thought as the earliest known incident of abuse by Sandusky. The allegation was revealed in a single line of a court document filed Wednesday.
Sandusky was found guilty in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys during the 1990s and 2000s. He used a charity he founded and access to the college football team to entice and abuse kids. Sandusky is serving a prison sentence between 30 to 60 years.
Paterno’s family issued a statement Thursday saying the late coach’s “reputation has once again been smeared with an unsubstantiated, forty-year-old allegation.”
“Over the past four and a half years, numerous allegations that were taken as fact when they were initially communicated have been proven false. It is in this context that the latest claim should be viewed,” the family said.