As the dust begins to settle on the tumultuous and disturbing events that came to light in the past week in State College, Pa., news outlets today are reporting that the alleged sexual assault victims of former Pennsylvania State University defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky are preparing to file civil lawsuits against the school. The alleged victims are reportedly seeking damages from the university over the administrators’ failure to take action against the coach who purportedly was a known sexual predator.
A grand jury filing last week listed eight potential victims, with at least one more believed to have come forward since then. A source told The Daily Beast that phone lines set up for abuse victims and tips have been flooded with calls.
The Daily Beast yesterday reported that attorney Benjamin Andreozzi is representing at least one of the alleged victims listed in the grand jury filings. Andreozzi told the Beast that he expects other potential victims to come forward once they see that they’re not alone. A second anonymous lawyer representing another alleged victim also talked to the Beast.
Additionally, a pair of Penn State administrators, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, are charged with failing to report the highly publicized incident when Sandusky allegedly assaulted a boy in a university shower in 2002. Curley and Schultz also are charged with making false statements to the grand jury about their knowledge of the allegations when they denied having been told of the assault. Both Sandusky and the administrators, through their lawyers, insist they’re innocent.
“If the allegations are true, the institution’s silence, and failure to act, not only emboldened a predator, but silences the victims,” Andrew Shubin, a State College, Pa., attorney, told the Beast. “These children must have believed that the institution didn’t care about them, because it did nothing to protect them.”
The Beast reports that it’s likely the alleged victims’ attorneys will file a federal civil rights action arguing that the university’s administration violated the victims’ 14th Amendment right to bodily integrity in its failure to notify the appropriate authorities. The Beast also notes the possibility of the state charging the administrators with negligence, as well as the likelihood of a suit seeking monetary damages from Sandusky.
For more detail, read The Daily Beast.