Penn State wins stay in a civil suit filed by alleged Jerry Sandusky victim

For the CDTFebruary 15, 2013 

— Penn State has won another stay in a civil suit filed by an alleged Jerry Sandusky victim.

U.S. Middle District Senior Judge William W. Caldwell on Thursday granted the university’s motion to stay activity in the federal suit in which a Dauphin County native alleges he was sexually molested in a 2005 in a swimming pool on the Penn State campus while attending a Second Mile camp.

Caldwell found to allow the case to proceed could force former university president Graham Spanier, retired senior vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley to choose between invoking their rights against self-incrimination or exposing themselves to criminal liability.

Invoking their Fifth Amendment rights could cause the court or jury to draw adverse influences, the judge wrote in staying activity until the criminal cases against the three are concluded. Spanier, Schultz and Curley are scheduled for trial in 2014.

The university, which has won stays of civil cases brought by other victims in Philadelphia, had to overcome opposition from the Edgewater Psychiatric Center in Harrisburg. The victim claims he was referred to The Second Mile by the center.

Edgewater had hoped to pursue a motion to dismiss, claiming allegations by the victim were causing severe damage to its reputation.

Because the victim, whose attorney is former auditor general Don Bailey, did not respond in the required time to the motion for a stay, it was deemed he did not oppose it, the judge wrote. Spanier, Schultz and Curley concurred with the stay request.

On Tuesday, Bailey had written a letter to Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, which was made part of the court record, in which he charged: “Someone in DOC has put the word out to intentionally interfere with, and/or prevent, our service of legal process on Gerald Sandusky.”

It was the second time Bailey had accused the Corrections Department of not allowing Sandusky to be served with the complaint in this case. The letter contained a threat to sue Wetzel but also asked his help in effecting service.

Sandusky is at the state prison in Greene County, where he is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years for sexually molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period.

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