Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Victim 9 in Sandusky case gets access to 3.5 million Freeh documents for suit vs. Penn State

Louis Freeh addresses the media during a press conference at the Westin Hotel in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Thursday, July 12, 2012, where he released the findings of his investigation into the Penn State scandal.
Louis Freeh addresses the media during a press conference at the Westin Hotel in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Thursday, July 12, 2012, where he released the findings of his investigation into the Penn State scandal. CDT file photo

One of the victims whose testimony convicted Jerry Sandusky of child sex crimes has received access to a deluge of documents in his civil suit.

John Doe D, 21, was known during the criminal trial as Victim 9. He is suing Penn State and the retired assistant coach in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for the crimes that landed Sandusky in Greene state prison for a minimum of 30 years.

On Jan. 9, Judge Mark Bernstein ordered that the university had until Jan. 23 to produce “all documents in the ‘Freeh database’ ” — a database of roughly 3.5 million electronic records collected by Freeh, Sullivan and Sporkin LLP in its role as special investigative counsel to the Penn State board of trustees.

The order also allowed the university to redact the documents and information protected from disclosure by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and the Criminal History Record Act.

The lawsuit addresses counts of negligence, recklessness and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the university, plus assault and battery for Sandusky.

The suit was filed in 2013, after the victim failed to reach a settlement with the university. The university began an appeal of the case in state Superior Court in May. At that time, a court order directed discovery to “proceed forthwith” until the Superior Court rendered its decision. That has not happened yet, with the last action in the appellate case being a letter filed in September by the trial judge in Philadelphia.

According to court documents, the two sides agreed to extend the discovery deadline on Dec. 29. A court order reconciled that agreement with the Superior Court’s order, making the discovery deadline May 4.

If the Superior Court allows the case to continue in Philadelphia, a trial date has been set for Sept. 9.

Penn State has paid out $59.7 million to 26 Sandusky accusers.

The Freeh documents were in question last year as the alumni-elected members of the board of trustees asked for access to them. The board granted the access but under very specific conditions, including protection of identification of those interviewed by former FBI director Louis Freeh in his university-commissioned investigation of the scandal. The trustees had requested a board review of the investigation, which was denied, but President Eric Barron said he would undertake his own review.

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