Sue Paterno says she was ignorant of sex predators
HARRISBURG, Pa. - April 10, 2013 (WPVI) -- Sue Paterno says she and her husband, Joe Paterno, were ignorant about sexual predators like Jerry Sandusky.
"We were among those ignorant to the magnitude of the problem," she said Wednesday.
Sue Paterno spoke before a hundred or so people at The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance's annual breakfast in Harrisburg, Pa.
The nonprofit organization's mission is to prevent child abuse.
Sue Paterno was a controversial choice, considering Jerry Sandusky and the sex abuse scandal that embroiled Joe Paterno and Penn State.
"We had been unaware of how a predator behaves and in many case we unknowingly helped him groom his victims," Sue Paterno said.
"I know my presence here and my family's presence here is not without controversy," said the Paternos' son Jay. "I am not naive."
The Paternos did not spend much time discussing the scandal, only saying they did not know of Sandusky's abuse. Instead, they focused on spreading the word about the growing problem of child abuse.
"In child abuse, we must remove fears associated with coming forward," said Jay Paterno, "both the children who suffer the abuse and the people who report it."
But it's Penn State hierarchy and Joe Paterno's alleged failure to report Sandusky's sex abuse that has tarnished the once iconic figure's image, and sullied the reputation of Penn State.
Neither Jay nor his mother would take questions from reporters.
The nonprofit's executive director, Angela Liddle, defended her choice of speaker.
"I think they have demonstrated a humbleness and a humility, saying 'We didn't know and we are learning and join in with us,'" said Liddle.
Jerry Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
pennsylvania, penn state, child sex assault, sex assault, joe paterno, jerry sandusky, local/state
- Parking dispute turns violent at Cherry Hill Mall 55 min ago
- Milder Monday 42 min ago
- Get the 6abc StormTracker app
- WATCH: Action News Online
- Mutilated animal found in Brewerytown 55 min ago
- 'Band of Brothers' vet William Guarnere dies at 90 37 min ago
- Vietnam says it may have found missing jet's door 55 min ago
- Mom accused of driving into surf goes before judge
- Suspect SUV in deadly hit and run caught on camera
- Residents return following Bucks Co. hazmat
- Man, 22, dies after shooting in Chester
- Man seriously injured in crash on Roosevelt Blvd.
- Video: Annual Phila. Flower Show wraps up 53 min ago
- Photos: $3.25M summer home in Ocean City, NJ
- Parking dispute turns violent at Cherry...
55 min ago
- Mutilated animal found in Brewerytown
55 min ago
- Vietnam says it may have found missing...
55 min ago
- Milder Monday
42 min ago