Penn State has asked a Philadelphia judge to put a hold on a civil lawsuit filed by a Clinton County teen in the Jerry Sandusky abuse case in light of the ongoing grand jury investigation and upcoming trial of two former administrators.
Penn State spokesman David La Torre today said the university’s lawyers have moved to stay the suit and are waiting for the judge to rule.
“This was nothing more than a procedural move,” La Torre said. “The university remains committed to resolving the victims’ claims in a fair manner that also respects their privacy.”
The motion to delay the trial was filed last week.
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Penn State officials, including President Rodney Erickson, have long said they want to settle the suits out of court.
The suit filed by Victim 1 makes allegations against former administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, and they are awaiting trial on perjury and failure to report abuse charges.
Penn State’s attorneys said they want the stay because they believe the Curley and Schultz trial or the state attorney general’s grand jury investigation could prejudice their rights or the rights of the plaintiff.
“It would be highly prejudicial to force (d)efendant to move forward in litigation, and discovery, while it is subject to parallel criminal proceedings,” the attorneys for Penn State wrote in their motion.
“Those criminal proceedings should conclude first without diverting resources to or muddying up the (c)ivil (a)ction.”
The suit was filed in August by civil attorneys for Victim 1. The 18-year-old testified at the trial in June, saying he met Sandusky through The Second Mile and Sandusky sexually abused him.
Penn State is the only defendant named in the suit, which alleges that the university was negligent and reckless for failing to report Sandusky’s abuse of children to authorities.
The suit also seeks damages on counts of intentional and negligent infliction of emotion distress on the teen, and aiding and abetting.
The Clinton County teen’s attorneys are Michael Boni and Slade McLaughlin, both Philadelphia-area civil lawyers.
The judge already has stayed two other civil suits filed by people alleging they are victims of Sandusky. They were not among the eight young men who testified at his trial.
Sandusky is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 9.
Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT