Victim No. 2 — the young boy in 2001 seen with Jerry Sandusky in a Penn State locker room — has come forward, and he intends to sue Penn State for damages.
The legal team of two attorneys from Philadelphia and two from State College made this public Thursday, the first time confirming the existence of this previously unknown victim whose abuse has been the trigger for the outrage and fallout in the Sandusky case.
The attorneys are Joel Feller and Matt Casey from the Philadelphia firm Ross Feller Casey LLP and State College attorneys Justine Andronici and Andrew Shubin.
They said their client suffered abuse before and after the incident witnessed by Mike McQueary in February 2001 and that they have released this information because of media inquiries and Penn State’s admission that its top officials could have done more to prevent the abuse by Sandusky.
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The victim’s name was not released in the statement, and the Centre Daily Times does not release the names of victims of sexual abuse.
The shower incident involving the boy wasn’t reported to law enforcement or child welfare authorities. More than a decade later, it’s at the center of the fallout of the Sandusky case that includes perjury charges against former Penn State administrators; the dismissal and resignation of senior university officials; damaging sanctions against the football program; and national outrage over what’s being called the worst scandal in collegiate sports history.
A spokesman for Attorney General Linda Kelly declined to comment. Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, did not return messages seeking comment.
Victim No. 2’s attorneys’ statement, in part, said: “Our client suffered extensive sexual abuse over many years both before and after the 2001 incident Michael McQueary witnessed in the Penn State Lasch Building shower. Penn State has now admitted and there is no longer any question that its top officials could have and should have prevented these acts.
“Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of victim 2 and other children is a direct result of a conspiracy to conceal Sandusky’s conduct and the decisions by top Penn State officials that facilitated and enabled his access to victims. We intend to file a civil lawsuit against Penn State University and others and to hold them accountable for the egregious and reckless conduct that facilitated the horrific abuse our client suffered.
“Our client has to live the rest of his life not only dealing with the effects of Sandusky’s childhood sexual abuse, but also with the knowledge that many powerful adults, including those at the highest levels of Penn State, put their own interests and the interests of a child predator above their legal obligations to protect him.”
Penn State spokesman David La Torre said the university takes these matters seriously but does not comment on pending lawsuits.
“President 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.
The attorneys said they’ve conducted their own investigation into the abuse suffered by their client, and they called the evidence “overwhelming.”
Evidence includes numerous phone messages Sandusky left for victim 2, the attorneys said. Two are from September, as the grand jury investigation was getting closer to indicting the former defensive coach.
According to the messages, Sandusky didn’t say exactly why he was contacting the young man, but Sandusky did say he loved him in both calls. The attorneys said the phone messages show Sandusky trying to exert control over the young man as Sandusky got closer and closer to being indicted.
The attorneys made two of the voicemails available on their website.
This one was left for victim No. 2 on Sept. 12, 2011: “... Jere. Um. I am probably not going to be able to get a hold of anybody. Um. Uh. Probably ought to just go forward. Uh. I would be very firm and express my feelings, uh, upfront. Um. But, uh, you know, there is nothing really to hide so. Um. If you want, give me a call. You can call me on my other cellphone or on this one, either one so. Alright, take care. Love you. Uh. Hope you get this message. Thanks.”
The second was a week later, Sept. 19, 2011: “... Just calling to see, you know, whether you had any interest in going to the Penn State game this Saturday. Uh. If you could get back to me and let me know, uh, I would appreciate it and when you get this message, uh, give me a call and I hope to talk to you later. Thanks. I love you.”
According to the grand jury’s presentment, victim No. 2 was seen in a shower with Jerry Sandusky by McQueary the evening of Feb. 9, 2001. McQueary testified at trial it was an “extremely sexual” situation he discerned because of “rhythmic slapping sounds” and the proximity of Sandusky’s body to that of the young boy’s.
McQueary testified he didn’t see intercourse, but he was adamant the incident was of a sexual nature.
McQueary told Paterno the next day, and Paterno met with former athletic director Tim Curley the day after that. Curley, former senior vice president Gary Schultz — who oversaw the university police department as part of his duties — and former president Graham Spanier discussed how to respond to McQueary’s report, but it was never forwarded to police or child welfare authorities, according to the findings of the Louis Freeh report.
Paterno and Spanier were fired in November over the allegations.
Amendola told the CDT this past winter that a young man had come forward to him about that shower incident in the Lasch Football Building. But Amendola said the young man contacted Shubin and cut off contact with Amendola.
Sandusky was acquitted of the most serious charge related to victim No. 2, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. But the jury convicted Sandusky of indecent assault, corruption of minors and similar charges related to that shower incident.
In all, Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts and is behind bars in the county jail awaiting his sentencing hearing.
The university commissioned a third-party investigative team, led by former FBI director Louis Freeh, to probe into what happened. Freeh’s team found that senior university leaders concealed the reported abuse pertaining to victim No. 2 from law enforcement authorities for fear of bad publicity.
Curley and Schultz are awaiting trial in Dauphin County, but they maintain they’re innocent.
Freeh also found that the leaders subjected victim No. 2 to further harm by alerting Sandusky about the allegation and not reporting it to authorities.
The NCAA pounced on the Freeh report’s scathing findings, which were accepted by the university without question, and on Monday imposed crippling sanctions on Penn State and its football program. Among them were a $60 million fine, a four-year postseason bowl ban and a reduction in scholarships.
Casey, one of the Philadelphia attorneys, was at the release of the Freeh Group’s report two weeks ago. At the time, he said Freeh’s report shows Penn State was reckless in concealing the abuse. He said his clients should be able to seek punitive damages in an upcoming civil suit.
The attorneys representing victim No. 2 also represent three others from the Sandusky case — victim Nos. 3, 7 and 10 — plus Sandusky’s adopted son, Matt Sandusky, who came forward during the trial alleging he had been molested by his adoptive father. No charges have been filed from Matt Sandusky’s allegations.
The attorneys said they’ll take Penn State and others to court over damages for the abuse their clients suffered. University leaders have said they hope to settle out of court.
With victim No. 2 coming forward, that leaves Victim No. 8 as the only unidentified victim in the Sandusky case. He was a young boy who a janitor saw being molested in a Penn State shower room in November 2000.
Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT