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Penn State payouts with Jerry Sandusky accusers cover abuse claims to 1971

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — 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.