Joe Paterno, the late Penn State head football coach, heard an allegation in 1976 that assistant coach Jerry Sandusky had molested a young boy, according to newly unsealed documents.
This revelation came to light in May 2016 through a court order from an insurance lawsuit involving Penn State. The full documents have now been unsealed and added to the public record.
A man referred to as "John Doe 150" testified in a Philadelphia court in 2014 that he informed Paterno, in a face-to-face conversation in 1976, Sandusky had molested him.
"I don't want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about," Paterno reportedly responded to the victim.
One of Paterno's sons, Scott, wrote on Twitter that the story of the 1976 accusation is not credible.
Headlines that "Joe knew in '76" are based on a single uncorroborated report of an incident allegedly witnessed by 6 other people.
— Scott Paterno (@ScottPaterno) July 12, 2016
The unsealed documents also include allegations that Penn State football assistant coaches witnessed "inappropriate contact" and "sexual contact" between Sandusky and children in 1987 and 1988.
"John Doe 75" testified that assistant coach Joe Sarra witnessed Sandusky putting his hand down a 13-year old boy's shorts and he immediately left the room and closed the door behind him. Sarra passed away in 2012, like Paterno.
"John Doe 101" testified that a weight-room assistant named Kevin O'Dea witnessed Sandusky giving a backrub to a young boy in his underwear in an athletics facility. Mr. O'Dea, the special teams coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers until being released in January, said nothing and left the room.
The scene that O'Dea allegedly witnessed was in 1988, according to the unsealed documents. But reporter Steve Marroni of the Patriot-News wrote that O'Dea was not on the Penn State coaching staff at that time:
O'Dea, however, was a graduate assistant at the University of Virginia from 1988-90 and didn't join Penn State's staff until 1991. He later served as an assistant coach for the Nittany Lions from 1992-93 before leaving to join the staff of the NFL's San Diego Chargers.