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Penn State police had warnings about Sandusky in 1998: NBC

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Former Penn State football Defensive Coordinator Sandusky is pictured in police photograph
Former Penn State football Defensive Coordinator Sandusky is pictured in police photograph

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A psychologist warned Penn State University police in 1998 that football coach Jerry Sandusky's behavior was that of a pedophile after he had showered naked with an 11-year-old boy, NBC News reported on Saturday.

Dr. Alycia Chambers said she was told Sandusky, now at the center of a child sex abuse scandal, had bear-hugged the boy at Penn State locker room showers, kissed him on the head and told him, "I love you."

"This was behavior that was consistent with a predator, a male predator, a pedophile," said Chambers, who was the boy's counselor. She spoke for the first time with the family's permission.

Chambers wrote a report for university police involving the boy, known in court documents as Victim 6, but a second psychologist concluded there was no evidence of a sexual offense. The district attorney did not file charges.

NBC obtained the internal Penn State police file on the investigation. It included reports by Chambers, of State College, Pennsylvania, and the other psychologist, John Seasock.

A Penn State spokesman, Bill Mahon, declined to comment on the NBC report, citing pending investigations.

"As we have stated before, our hearts go out to any child victims of abuse. The university is providing counseling and support services for any child victims," Mahon added.

Sandusky, 68, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, is accused of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He has denied the charges and is under house arrest.

The explosive scandal focused national attention on child sex abuse and led to the firing of Penn State's legendary coach Joe Paterno and university President Graham Spanier. Paterno died in January.

As part of the case involving Victim 6, Penn State police hid in a bedroom and listened as the boy's mother confronted Sandusky, asking him if his private parts had touched when he bear-hugged the boy.

Sandusky said he did not think so, but was not sure, NBC said, citing the report. She asked him if he had done the same thing with other boys and Sandusky said, "Yes" and that he wished he could get forgiveness.

"I wish I were dead," he told her.

Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, asked a judge last week to dismiss the charges.

The NBC report had raised new questions "which will be formulated into additional discovery requests we will submit to the attorney general in the near future, hopefully, for disposition at the April 5th hearing on Jerry's motions," Amendola said in a statement on Saturday.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by David Bailey and Eric Beech)

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