Coach Paterno had prior knowledge Sandusky was child sex abuser: police report

According to a police report obtained by CNN, by the time whistleblower Mike McQueary told Paterno he'd seen Sandusky performing a lewd act on a child in the locker room, Paterno had already received a similar complaint.

Paterno, who had been head coach for the Nittany Lions throughout Sandusky's entire career with Penn State, claimed that he never knew about any of the allegations against his former defensive coordinator until McQueary came to him.

McQueary, according to the police report obtained via a source by CNN, reported that Paterno appeared to tear up at the news.

The police report was allegedly written after Sandusky's arrest, more than 10 years after McQueary reported the incident to Paterno.

In addition, emails seemed to implicate that Paterno knew about an instance in 1998 where Sandusky gave a 10-year-old boy a "naked hug in a shower" which surfaced from Penn State's own internal investigation. In July 2013, McQueary testified about that same moment, saying Paterno "slumped back in his chair", was "significantly saddened", and even "dropped his eyes a little bit". Last week, Penn State - which has paid $93 million to settle claims from 32 accusers - signaled it may sue Sandusky's former children's charity, Second Mile, potentially a bid to make up some of the school's costs in response to the scandal.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Michael Jacob Mc Queary and head coach Joseph Vincent Paterno sometimes referred to as JoePa
Former Penn State assistant football coach Michael Jacob Mc Queary and head coach Joseph Vincent Paterno sometimes referred to as JoePa

This past June, former Penn State president Graham B. Spanier and two other former aides were sentenced to prison for failing to report Sandusky's behavior. Paterno died from lung cancer shortly after that testimony.

Paterno was the head coach of the Penn State football team from 1966 to 2011.

Paterno's family has accused McQueary of inconsistency in his retelling of what he saw in the locker room, though prosecutors have praised him for handling several trips to the witness stand matter-of-factly.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Because of McQueary and Paterno legally doing the right thing and following their "chain of command" when reporting sexual abuse, new laws have been put in place where someone is required to report any sexual molestation to the police. "With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more".

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  • Lawrence Cooper