Former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno has hired a prominent Washington criminal defense lawyer, according to a report from NBC News.
The lawyer in question is J. Sedgwick Sollers, who once represented George H.W. Bush in the Iran-Contra affair. Though Paterno has not been charged with any crimes resulting from the sexual abuse scandal that has enveloped the football program since Saturday, a source close to him told NBC News that Paterno is worried about the possibility of civil suits from alleged victims of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and their families.
A Grand Jury report released Saturday indicted Sandusky on 40 counts related to child sex abuse, some of which occurred on Penn State football premises. Paterno was fired Wednesday night because of a part of the report that alleged that in 2002, then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary told Paterno about an incident in which he had seen Sandusky raping a child in the showers of a Penn State football facility. Paterno told his superiors, but did not call the police, a lack of action that angered many when the details were released to the public.