Penn State, Others Brace For Sandusky Child Abuse Lawsuits

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A sexual abuse litigation expert said he believes ex-Penn State coach, Joe Paterno, can be sued and more should be expected in the way of civil litigation against Jerry Sandusky, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, the Second Mile charity, and Penn State, as well.

Paterno and Graham B. Spanier—ex-Penn State president—were fired last week over a growing child sexual abuse scandal involving Sandusky, former assistant coach and Paterno’s heir apparent. To date, Paterno has been charged with over 40 counts related to the victimization of eight boys over 15 years, all of which were allegedly accessed by Sandusky through his Second Mile Foundation charity. Sandusky resigned from Second Mile last fall.

A grand jury report from a Pennsylvania investigation revealed a long-standing pattern of Sandusky’s unfettered access to boys through his charity and his assistant coaching position. In one case, Paterno aegedu received a graphic description of sexual abuse that Sandusky allegedly committed against a young boy in a Penn State football shower. Then-graduate assistant coach, Mike McQueary, currently on administration leave, advised Paterno; Paterno reported the accusation to the athletic director, but did little else.

The Pennsylvania grand jury report stated that former Athletic Director, Curley, testified that after being informed of the allegation, he told Sandusky he was banned from bringing youth to the Penn State campus. At the time, Sandusky, who had retired from Penn State in 1999, was not a university employee, but maintained an office at the University Park campus, and was allowed to use the football team facilities.

Sandusky was arrested November 5; Curley and Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business at Penn, were arrested last week, charged with perjury and failing to report to authorities what they were aware of regarding allegations against Sandusky. Both have resigned. Although Pennsylvania law enforcement officials agree that Paterno met his legal obligation by alerting superiors, he failed, morally, by not doing more. The same officials charged that Penn State inaction allowed more children to be victimized by Sandusky.

My Fox Philly/Fox 29 wrote that attorney Tom Kline, who does not represent any Penn State case victims, but who has been involved in similar, high-profile cases said, “Penn State would obviously be sued, the charity would clearly be sued and individuals would be sued, including Sandusky and likely coach Paterno…. This case is extraordinary.” Meanwhile, two attorneys say they’re preparing civil lawsuits on behalf of alleged victims; lawsuits are expected to be filed against Penn.

Telephone lines have been opened for victims and tips; lines have been inundated, said a state police source, wrote UPI. A lawyer involved in the matter said the lawsuit could include Penn State officials and the Second Mile, which he said also did not report alleged assaults, said the UPI.

Meanwhile, 10 more potential victims have come forward and Second Mile chief executive, Jack Raykovitz, a licensed psychologist, who served as chief for 28 years, resigned. Raykovitz’ failure to do more to stop Sandusky has been hotly criticized, said The Boston Globe. Raykovitz claims Penn State officials told him, regarding the shower assault, that McCreary was simply “uncomfortable” seeing the boy and Sandusky in the shower. McCreary told the grand jury he witnessed Sandusky sodomizing the boy, said The Globe. Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola has said, “Jerry Sandusky is a big overgrown kid…. He’s a jock, and for anybody who’s ever played sports, you get showers after you work out.’’

Speaking to interviewer Bob Costas, Sandusky maintained his innocence and that he is not a pedophile saying, “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.’’ When asked if he is sexually attracted to under-aged boys, Sandusky said, “Sexually attracted, no. I enjoy young people, I love to be around them, but, no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.” Concerning the accusations, he said, “I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact. I enjoy being around children. I enjoy their enthusiasm. I just have a good time with them.’’