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Joe Paterno gave wife ownership of their home for $1 in July

November 16, 2011 |  1:06 pm

Less than four months before the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal made headlines nationwide, Joe Paterno transferred full ownership of his house to his wife for $1, according to documents obtained by the New York Times.

The transaction took place in July. Two lawyers who examined the documents for the Times drew different conclusions; one said that "it appeared to be an explicit effort to financially shield Joe Paterno." Another said the transfer appeared "benign."

The documents placed the value of the Paternos' house, which they had previously held title to jointly, at $594,484.40.

FULL COVERAGE: Penn State scandal

The paper reported that one of Paterno's lawyers, Wick Sollers, said in an email that the transfer had nothing to do with the Sandusky scandal, which led to Paterno being fired as head coach at Penn State last week.

Paterno has received intense criticism for telling only his superiors and failing to go to the police after a graduate assistant told Paterno that he witnessed Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator, sexually assaulting a young boy in a school shower in 2002.

On Nov. 5, Sandusky was charged with 40 criminal counts, including six first-degree felony charges, in connection with alleged deviate sexual intercourse.

Some legal experts have speculated that Paterno could be a target of civil actions.


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-- Melissa Rohlin

Photo: Sue and Joe Paterno stand on the front porch of their house in front of fans and media members. Credit: Joe Hermitt / Associated Press / The Patriot-News