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Upcoming Esquire Article Raises More Questions on Paterno's Knowledge of 1998 Sandusky Allegations

by on May 24, 2012 6:00 AM

Penn State is trying to move forward from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. A trial dates looms, but an upcoming issue of Esquire Magazine will bring Joe Paterno back in the public discussion about whether he knew of allegations of sexual misconduct by Sandusky in 1998.

The magazine, on newsstands soon, will feature an article by Luke Dittrich that casts doubt on Paterno’s denial he knew of a 1998 Penn State Police investigation into Sandusky.

The sports website ran an article Wednesday briefly outlining some of the legwork Dittrich did for the story. He reportedly combed through scores of documents from the university library and found some interesting notes from around the time police interviewed Sandusky in 1998 about an alleged shower incident involving a young boy.

In May of that year, two police detectives hid in the home of the mother of the boy, alleged victim No. 6, and listened in on a conversation between her and Sandusky. He said he and the boy showered together and that his genitals might have touched her son.

He later told her, according to the grand jury report, "I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead."

Here’s how Dittrich summarized what he found regarding Paterno, according to Deadspin.

“You will find, if you dig into his archives from 1998, that he was a very busy man — he wrote in one letter that he had "committed all my free time to" and was "really stretched" by the ongoing fundraising campaign. You will find that he was a very reliable man as well. When he planned to do something, he would do it.

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"In fact, if you look at his agenda from 1998, you'll see that he almost always kept to his schedule, and that his only cancellations fall within a very narrow window of time.

“The first cancellation is on May 15, two days after police listen in on Sandusky's half-confession to the mother of a young boy. That evening, Paterno cuts short a fundraising trip to Valley Forge, then cancels a four-day-long personal vacation he had been planning to take from May 16 to 19, to his summer home in Avalon, N.J. He resumes his scheduled fundraising trips in June, about a week after the investigation against Sandusky is dropped. He doesn't miss any more events for the remainder of the year.”

The 1998 investigation yielded no charges against Sandusky after former district attorney Ray Gricar decided to close the case.

Sandusky, who is set to stand trial June 5 on 52 counts in a child sex abuse case, retired from coaching following the 1999 season.

Paterno, who passed away Jan. 22, denied any knowledge of the 1998 police investigation in his final interview with Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post.

In March, Philadelphia Magazine published an article citing sources known as “Paterno watchers” that said his ignorance was laughable. Another unnamed source close to athletic director Tim Curley said in the article that Curley told him Sandusky’s retirement was for “a very good reason.”

Curley, on paid administrative leave, is one of two Penn State officials charged with lying to a state investigating grand jury.

Related coverage:

Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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