On Thursday, Penn Live uncovered a line in a trail over an insurance claim alleging Joe Paterno may have learned of Jerry Sandusky‘s sexual abuse of children as far back as 1976.
A day later, that kindling has exploded into a bonfire.
Our own Tom Winter and Hannah Rappleye of our own NBC News reported Friday that “as many as six” Penn State assistant coaches witnessed abusive acts by Sandusky, dating back to the 1970’s. “You won’t believe what I just saw,” an unnamed Penn State assistant reportedly said to a room full of football staffers.
Additionally, Sandusky’s adopted son Matt Sandusky told NBC News he was informed by investigators that a Nittany Lions employee witnessed Sandusky molesting him in the team’s locker room in the 1990’s.
“The university is facing and has faced a number of litigation matters and claims related to the Sandusky events. Allegations of various kinds have been made, and will likely continue to be made,” Penn State said in a statement to NBC News.
“The university does not speculate publicly or hypothesize about individual allegations. These are sensitive matters, and we want to be respectful of the rights of all individuals involved. It would be inappropriate to do otherwise.”
Separately, Sara Ganim of CNN reported simultaneously of another man who accused Sandusky of raping him in 1971, and told CNN he informed Paterno of Sandusky’s crime. He said Paterno then threatened him.
“I’d be willing to sit on a witness stand and confront Joe Paterno,” the man CNN last year. “Unfortunately he died and I didn’t get to.”
The man was not included in the state of Pennsylvania’s investigation into Sandusky because it fell outside the statute of limitations.
The crime occurred when the victim was 15 and the coach was 27.
Victim A says he was hitchhiking when Sandusky picked him up, bought him beer, gave him pot — and then attacked him as he was standing at a urinal in a Penn State bathroom.
“I felt his presence behind me,” he said. “I felt his left knee on the back of my knee, and his arms went around me, grabbing my …” he trails off. “He said, ‘Let me help you with this.'”
Victim A said he jerked his head back, hitting Sandusky in the jaw. His head started bleeding and they both fell to the floor.
“Then there was a wrestling session,” he says. “And I lost. One thing led to another and the crime happened.”
The victim says he informed Penn State authorities — who accused him of making the story up and threatened to go to the authorities themselves — one of whom, he says, was undoubtedly Paterno.
Paterno passed away of lung cancer in January 2012 shortly after being fired by Penn State. Sandusky will spend the rest of his natural life in prison, and Penn State is litigating a claim against its insurance company arguing the university is owed reimbursement for the more than $60 million in payments it has made to Sandusky’s victims.