Trials & Litigation

Judge Axes 'Incredibly Tasteless' Sandusky Suit by 'Lawsuit Zeus' Using Comedy Club Return Address


Amidst real allegations of child sex-abuse supported by eyewitnesses and found to be valid by a Pennsylvania jury in a criminal case last month, a federal judge in Wisconsin has dismissed what he described as an “incredibly tasteless” frivolous civil filing against Jerry Sandusky by a prolific vexatious litigant.

Jonathan Lee Riches, who at one point called himself a “lawsuit Zeus,” appears to be the author of a civil sex-abuse complaint against the retired, now-jailed former assistant Pennsylvania State University football coach, ruled U.S. District Judge William Conley. The suit was purportedly filed by “Jonathan Bollinger,” a claimed cousin of a former quarterback on the University of Wisconsin’s football team, the Associated Press reports. However, the return mailing address was for a comedy club in Philadelphia.

“Even aside from the incredibly tasteless act of filing these false allegations in light of the very real victims of sexual assaults against children, the individual involved here appears to have committed a fraud on this court, wasted court resources … and continued a pattern of behavior deserving of sanction,” wrote Conley in a brief order on Friday. It gave Riches until the end of the month to show cause why the judge should not hold him in contempt and refer the matter to his probation officer and the U.S. Attorney.

Until Riches’ recent release from federal prison, where he had been serving time for participating in a scam seeking to obtain credit card numbers, officials there had been allowed, with another federal judge’s permission, to review and reject any legal mail Riches attempted to send.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Convicted and Jailed, Ex-Penn State Asst. Coach Jerry Sandusky Is Expected to Appeal”

ABAJournal.com: “After Inmate Files Some 3,800 Lawsuits, Prosecutors Seek to Stop the Onslaught”

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