A man known as Victim 6, whose allegations against convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky first launched an investigation in 1998 that resulted in no charges, has sued Sandusky, his charity and Penn State in federal court.
A six-count complaint filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleges Penn State and The Second Mile, Sandusky’s now-embattled charity for struggling youths, concealed Sandusky’s inappropriate pattern of behavior with young boys and failed to provide reasonable supervision for the plaintiff, identified in the filing as John Doe 6.
The pleading called The Second Mile a “hunting ground” for Sandusky to pick off “victims of his perverted desire to sexually abuse minor boys.”
Among the pleadings were emotional distress, embarrassment and loss of life’s pleasures.
The charity, the complaint says, knew or reasonably should have known that Sandusky was an unfit agent because of his “dangerous and exploitive propensities.”
John Doe 6, in all, lodged counts for childhood sexual abuse and vicarious liability, negligence, negligent supervision, premises liability, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy to endanger children.
The lawsuit, at least the fifth filed by one of the ex-coach’s accusers, may raise questions about the productivity of settlement discussions between Penn State and the victims’ lawyers.
When the university announced it had brought on Ken Feinberg, who has worked on several massive victim-compensation plans, school officials said it was hopeful all claims would be settled by the end of 2012.
A message left for Doe 6′s Baltimore-based attorney, Howard A. Janet, was not returned.
Jim Keller of Saul Ewing in Philadelphia has been docketed as the university’s attorney in other accusers’ lawsuits. Keller did not respond to a voicemail or email left Tuesday.
Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse. With regard to Doe 6, a jury acquitted him of indecent assault but found him guilty of unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children.
The 42-page complaint also sheds light on the 1998 investigation that Doe 6′s mother initiated by calling a State College-area psychologist and, soon after, the police, but resulted in no charges.
Doe 6′s account of Sandusky’s abuse includes bear-hugging in a Penn State shower and Sandusky calling himself “the tickle monster.” When his mother confronted Sandusky, according to the complaint, the coach did not deny whether his “‘private parts’” touched her then-11-year-old son.
During the conversation, the mother asked that Sandusky stop coming to her son’s baseball games.
In response, Sandusky said: “I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.”
At that time, a Penn State police investigator thought the set allegations warranted criminal charges but the Centre County district attorney at the time declined to bring charges, the complaint recounts.
Following the investigation, three high-ranking Penn State administrators learned of the investigation but, echoing conclusions found in an internal investigation done by the university and state prosecutors, only sought to conceal the adolescent’s allegations.
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president of business and finance Gary Schultz all face charges related to the scandal.
Attorneys representing the victims of Sandusky have agreed that the university’s own report, led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, would provide a “roadmap” of sorts to civil suits lodged against the university. Indeed, the complaint in Doe 6 v. Pennsylvania State University explicitly cites the Freeh report.
“The inadequate oversight, deliberate indifference, failure to report and intentional concealment of Sandusky’s action by Penn State contributed substantially to Sandusky’s ability to commit his criminally outrageous and depraved acts,” the complaint said.