A victim of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky filed a lawsuit against Penn State late on Friday, saying the university deliberately concealed and misrepresented his serial sexual abuse of young boys.
The lawsuit was the third civil action filed against the university by a victim of the longtime defensive coach, Penn State spokesman Dave La Torre said.
Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys over 15 years and faces a prison term of up to 373 years when he is sentenced soon. The scandal rocked the storied Penn State football program and tarnished the legacy of the late Joe Paterno, the team’s longtime coach.
An independent investigation by former FBI chief Louis Freeh, commissioned by Penn State, concluded that university officials were alerted to Sandusky’s abuse, did nothing to stop it and decided against reporting it to authorities. It said that the school showed a callous disregard for the victims to protect a multimillion-dollar football program.
The lawsuit filed on Friday was on behalf of a boy identified by a grand jury as Victim 1, referred to in the lawsuit as “John Doe C,” who said in court that Sandusky performed oral sex on him about 12 times when he was 13 or 14 years old.
Sandusky also had Victim 1, who is now 18, perform oral sex on him one day and also touched the victim’s genitals with his hands, according to his testimony.
“We look forward to picking up where the Freeh Report left off,” attorney Slade McLaughlin, who is representing Victim 1, told Reuters in an email.
“We want to uncover how and why such heinous acts could have been perpetrated on so many innocent child victims for so long. The public, in general, and our client, in particular, are entitled to answers to these important questions,” he said.
The lawsuit alleges that Penn State officials knew that Sandusky was a “dangerous, sociopathic, sexual predator who had previously raped, sodomized, and/or otherwise seriously harmed young boys on the Penn State campus,” but covered up those facts to avoid tarnishing the image of the school and its revered football program.
The lawsuit accuses Penn State of negligence, fraudulent concealment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and aiding and abetting a civil conspiracy.
Penn State spokesman La Torre said the university could not comment on pending lawsuits but takes the matter seriously.
“President (Rodney) Erickson and the Board of Trustees have publicly emphasized that their goal is to find solutions that rest on the principle of justice for the victims,” La Torre said.
Another victim, John Doe A, filed a civil suit against Penn State, Jerry Sandusky and Sandusky’s non-profit organization for at-risk youth, The Second Mile, in November 2011.
John Doe A met Sandusky in 1992, when he was 10 years old, through The Second Mile football program. He was sexually abused over 100 times in the following four years, including on the Penn State campus, according to the lawsuit.
It was unclear who had filed the third lawsuit, La Torre said, because only a writ has been filed thus far.
The university previously said it wanted to settle any lawsuits stemming from the scandal “as quickly as possible,” and had sufficient insurance to do so.