NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ousted Penn State football coach Joe Paterno never confronted former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky with accusations that Sandusky had molested young boys, even though Paterno had reportedly been told of the incidents, the New York Times said on Saturday.
In an interview with the Times, Sandusky said Paterno allowed him to continue to use university facilities after he had retired from his job as defensive coordinator in 1999.
“I know that he never said anything to me,” Sandusky said of Paterno.
Paterno denied knowing about an investigation into molestation charges in 1998, according to the Times, and has said that he reported the 2002 accusations to the athletic director.
Sandusky is charged with abusing boys over a period of nearly 15 years, with prosecutors alleging that he met the boys through his charity, The Second Mile, and would molest some of them in the locker rooms on the university campus.
Sandusky denied all the charges and told the Times that prosecutors have “twisted” all the work he has done for children over the years.
“They’ve taken everything that I ever did for any young person and twisted it to say that my motives were sexual or whatever,” Sandusky said. “I had kid after kid after kid who might say I was a father figure. And they just twisted that all.”
Paterno was fired last month following accusations that he had not done enough to alert authorities after a graduate assistant told him in 2002 he had seen Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in the shower. University president Graham Spanier also was fired.
The abuse scandal has also led to criminal charges against the school’s athletic director, Tim Curley, and a finance official of the athletic department.
The executive director of The Second Mile, Jack Raykovitz, has resigned after he was accused of not doing enough to protect the children once they learned that Sandusky was being investigated.
Sandusky also told the Times that his relationships with the Second Mile kids caused his wife concern, and he sometimes worried Paterno would view his involvement as a distraction from football.
(Writing by Karen Brooks; Editing by Greg McCune)
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