Trials & Litigation

Sandusky shower incident victim sues Penn State

Corrected: Despite efforts by Pennsylvania State University to settle with boys targeted by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, now serving a hefty sentence after being convicted in a child sex-abuse case last year, the victim of a 1998 campus shower incident has filed a federal lawsuit against the university and other defendants.

The unnamed victim was 11 at the time of the incident, and his mother reported what had happened to the university police. The plaintiff contends in the suit that Penn State “ratified” the Sandusky sexual misconduct and “actually concealed Sandusky’s pattern of inappropriate contact with minor boys, misrepresented the degree of danger he posed and affirmatively held him out to the public as a dependable and respected member of the Penn State faculty,” Bloomberg reports.

The Centre Daily Times and the Associated Press also have stories about the suit, which was filed Tuesday in federal court in Philadelphia and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

In addition to Penn State, Sandusky and a now-shuttered youth charity he promoted, The Second Mile, also are named as defendants. Both institutions declined to comment on the suit.

Citing evidence compiled for an internal Penn State investigation, the suit says the two organizations acted with reckless indifference concerning the plaintiff’s rights. “Both institutions fostered a culture and/or code of silence that unduly influenced those within their respective ranks from revealing conduct of the nature of that committed by Sandusky from being reported and acted upon,” the suit contends.

Sandusky was acquitted at trial of an indecent assault charge arising from the shower incident, but convicted of lesser charges of corrupting a minor, child endangerment and unlawful contact with a minor, the Centre Daily Times reports.

Attorney Ken Feinberg was retained last year by Penn State to try to settle with Sandusky targets. He tells Bloomberg in a Wednesday email that “the facilitators are cautiously optimistic that progress will be made within the next few weeks.”

Updated on Jan. 24 to correct that the 1998 shower incident was not witnessed by anyone.


Updated on Jan. 24 to correct that the 1998 shower incident was not witnessed by anyone.

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