May 9, 2016 2:11 AM by Ross Field
Penn State University says its legal settlements with Jerry Sandusky's accusers cover alleged abuse dating to 1971.
That's 40 years before the assistant football coach's arrest in a child molestation scandal.
It's the first time the school has said how far back in time its settlements reach with those who claim they were Sandusky's victims.
The university has paid out more than $90 million to settle more than 30 civil claims.
Sandusky is serving a lengthy prison term after being convicted of the sexual abuse of 10 children. Many more people have filed civil claims covering a longer period of time.
The disclosure of the 1971 abuse claim came Sunday as Penn State President Eric Barron criticized as unsubstantiated newly revealed allegations that late coach Joe Paterno and some of his assistants knew of alleged abuse by Sandusky decades ago.
The president of Penn State is decrying new allegations that former coach Joe Paterno was told that Jerry Sandusky had sexually abused a child as early as 1976 and that two assistant coaches witnessed the abuse of other children.
President Eric Barron said in a letter Sunday to the university community that he was "appalled by the rumor, innuendo and rush to judgment" accompanying the stories.
Barron said those allegations and other accusations about knowledge by Paterno "are unsubstantiated and unsupported." Some of the media reports, he said, "should be difficult for any reasonable person to believe." Some of the allegations were revealed in an order in litigation between an insurance company and Penn State.
Barron said the university was appalled by Sandusky's actions and is committed to prevention, treatment and education.
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