According to the November 30th chicagotribune.com article, “First civil lawsuit filed against Sandusky”, the first civil lawsuit against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky has been filed by a man who alleges he was abused by Sandusky, starting when he was ten, for a period lasting four years. The plaintiff is now 29. He alleges he was molested over one hundred times during that time, beginning in 1992. The lawsuit was filed in Philadelphia County Court.
Per the article, the lawsuit says that the boy and Sandusky met via The Second Mile, his charity for disadvantaged children, and that Sandusky earned the boy’s trust with gifts and trips to sporting events. The abuse took place in various locations at Penn State and at Sandusky’s home.
The suit also alleges at one point, in 1996, Sandusky threatened to harm the boy’s family in an attempt to keep him quiet. Sandusky, Penn State University and The Second Mile are named as defendants. The plaintiff is seeking a minimum of $900,000 in damages. This includes $100,000 from Sandusky, $400,000 from Penn State and $400,000 from The Second Mile. The suit alleges negligence, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation and conspiracy to endanger children.
The plaintiff is represented by Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minn., attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases, including claims against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Anderson was quoted as saying: “The lawsuit begs the question: Why did so many men and adults, for so long, make choices to protect themselves and the institution of Penn State at the peril of so many kids? No less than 17 men, by my count, are revealed in the grand jury report alone to have had signs or signals that should have led them to protect the kids instead of the institutions to which they were loyal.”
During a recent news conference, Anderson read a handwritten statement by the accuser. It stated: “Now that I have told and done something about it I am feeling better and going to get help and work with the police. I want other people who have been hurt to know they can come forward and get help and help protect others in the future.”
The suit alleges that Penn State and The Second Mile are responsible for systemic failures to recognize signs that the former assistant football coach was molesting children possibly as far back as the 1970s. Sandusky founded The Second Mile in 1977.
The suit is the first civil claim against Sandusky, Penn State and The Second Mile since the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office announced the charges accusing Sandusky of sexually abusing eight boys between 1994 and 2008 in a grand jury report. The plaintiff in this lawsuit was not one of the eight boys mentioned in the report, listed only as Victim 1 through 8.
As well as adding a ninth accuser, the lawsuit increases the time frame of allegations against Sandusky. The abuse described in the lawsuit allegedly started before the earliest incident in the grand jury report.