Aaron Hernandez was sexually abused as young boy, report says

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An investigative series by The Boston Globe revealed that former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who killed himself in prison last year, was sexually molested as a young boy.

<pThe previously undisclosed information came from the Globe's "Spotlight Team" from interviews, thousands of court and government records, and text messages, emails and images Hernandez sent and received while in a Massachusetts prison, where he was serving a life sentence without parole for the 2013 slaying of onetime friend Odin Lloyd.

<pThe newspaper's six-part series, the first installment of which was published Saturday, included details about Hernandez's childhood, sexuality and drug use. Among them:

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<p• Hernandez and his brother, Jonathan, were often beaten by their father, Dennis, while growing up in Bristol, Connecticut. The beatings were sometimes related to Dennis Hernandez's drinking.

<p• Aaron Hernandez started smoking marijuana in high school with a teammate before school, before football practice and after games.

<p• The teammate, Dennis SanSoucie, told the Globe that he had a sexual relationship with Hernandez in junior high and high school and that the two tried to hide it.

<p• Jonathan Hernandez told the Globe that Aaron Hernandez disclosed later in his adult life that he had been molested as a young boy. One of Aaron's lawyers in his criminal case also said Aaron spoke to him of sexual abuse as a child. Neither was willing to identify the perpetrator to the Globe.

<p• Aaron Hernandez was close to a cousin, Tanya Singleton, and he was crushed when he learned that his mother, Terri, was in a serious romantic relationship with Singleton's husband, Jeff Cummings.

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<pThe report Saturday included information gleaned from recordings of nearly 300 phone calls Hernandez made from jail over a six-month period.

<pHernandez was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell on April 19, 2017, just days after he was found not guilty of two counts of murder in the killing of two men in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub five years earlier.