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Paterno Seeks High Profile Criminal Defense Attorney
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In the latest series of shocking events surrounding Penn State University and its once beloved football coach Joe Paterno, NBC News reports that Joe Pa has sought a high profile criminal defense attorney in the tragic child sex abuse case that has unfolded in recent days.

According to the November 10th cbsnews.com article, “Report: Paterno sought criminal defense lawyer”, NBC reports that Paterno’s advisers had contacted J. Sedgwick Sollers. Sollers, the managing partner in the Washington office of King & Spalding, once represented President George H.W. Bush in the Iran-Contra affair.

  
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Paterno is facing investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office as well as the likelihood of civil lawsuits by the alleged sexual abuse victims of his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Though Paterno has not been formally charged with any crimes, he was fired late Wednesday for his role in the series of events. He has openly said he regretted not taking further action after finding out about the allegations against ex-defensive coordinator.

According to the November 10th nydailynews.com article, “Fired Joe Paterno hires high-powered Washington defense lawyer J. Sedgwick Sollers”, New York defense lawyer Tom Harvey was quoted as saying: “As far as civil liability, Joe Paterno will almost certainly be named as a defendant in the expected slew of victim lawsuits that will be filed in the coming months. The issue will be what duty, if any, Paterno had with respect to protecting the minors that were allegedly abused on campus by Sandusky, a former Penn State employee who apparently had access to the football facilities and locker room. Did Paterno have a special duty to warn or protect these minors, especially after he became aware that there are allegations against Sandusky?”

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The university’s Board of Trustees fired Paterno following the report of a grand jury that said one his assistants, according to the nydailynews.com article, “had told Paterno he had seen Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in the showers of the football locker room. Paterno testified that he reported the incident to school officials, but not law enforcement authorities.”

In 2002, Sandusky was told not to bring minors to the campus. However, he continued to operate his Second Mile program for underprivileged children out of the Penn State athletic offices and was seen at least once in 2007 at practice with a young boy described in the grand jury report as “Victim 1.”



Joseph Vincent “Joe” Paterno served as the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 through November 9, 2011. Known affectionately as “JoePa,” he holds the record for the most victories by an FBS football coach – 409. He is the only FBS coach to reach 400 victories. During his tenure, he coached five undefeated teams that won major bowl games. In 2007, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach.

Gerald Arthur “Jerry” Sandusky served the majority of his career as an assistant coach with Pennsylvania State University under Joe Paterno. He received Assistant Coach of the Year awards in 1986 and 1999.



 

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