Blog Entry

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Posted on: November 12, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 11:17 pm
 

Posted by Adam Jacobi

According to a report on ESPN.com, the way Pennsylvania state law is written, many of the alleged victims in the Jerry Sandusky sexual assault case may not be able to file a lawsuit against Penn State or other defendants -- and their age may be the reason.

According to Pennsylvania state law, plaintiffs over the age of 20 may only file lawsuits in cases of sexual abuse that involved "forcible compulsion," which may exclude some of the lesser charges Sandusky currently faces -- regardless of their ages at the time of the alleged assaults. Seven of the eight alleged victims are now over the age of 20.

Here's more from the report: 

Shanin Specter, a litigator in Philadelphia who has been contacted by the family of one of the alleged victims, said the loophole could eliminate some of the victims as viable plaintiffs.

Specter said his firm will meet with the young man and his mother early next week to begin exploring legal options. He said he was contacted last week by the mother, whose son is one of eight alleged victims listed in the grand jury presentment against Sandusky.

"There's no doubt Joe Paterno will be sued and it will be left up to the discovery process to determine his liability," Specter said. "There are a lot of victims who suffered damages, and I expect that some number of defendants will be obligated to pay a lot of money."

Specter said he expects all of the men cited in the grand jury presentment will face lawsuits for any role they played in not reporting the alleged crimes to authorities. 

It's important to note that at this point, regardless of Specter's certainty on the issue, no civil suits have been filed yet. That's obviously subject to change over the coming weeks and months, but until those theoretical suits do (or don't) get filed, there's no way to address what effect the statute has on any complaints.

It was announced on Friday that Joe Paterno had retained criminal defense lawyer Wick Sollers in this matter, even though Paterno is not facing charges and was described as not being a target of the investigation by Pennsylvania attorney general Linda Kelly

Sandusky faces 40 charges of varying severity related to the sexual assault of minors, up to and including rape, after alleged incidents that occurred from 1995 to 2009.

Comments

Since: Oct 19, 2010
Posted on: November 13, 2011 7:39 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

You continue to assert that Joe Paterno is covering something up, yet you have no proof that he did.  In fact, the only proof available is that Joe Paterno did what he was legally responsible to do.  The problem is, he trusted the people above him to do what they are tasked by the law to do, but they failed miserably.  In fact, they even perjured themselves trying to cover up the facts 8 years later.  Until you have facts that Joe paterno knew this information then you should stop slandering a man based on limited information.  If Joe Paterno comes out and states that he was told about the 1998 incident or the specific details of the 2002 assault then he should not be accused of anything.  I will be the first to condemn Paterno if that becomes true.  However, you and the media are trageting Paterno since he has held and projected an image of morality that has been lost in much of society.  As you can see from the way that Curley and Schultz and even Spanier handled the 2002 incident by handling the issue on their own instead of allowing justice to prevail, what makes you think they did not keep Paterno out of the 1998 incident.  There are also laws that prevent employers to discuss personnel matters with other employees.  It will take more information for me to believe that Paterno was a part of a cover-up.  If he would have made public accusations against an employee that were investigated by the police an DA in 1998 then he would have been targeted by the Administration and Sandusky for committing slander.  Their are protocols to follow for releasing information.  The one's that controls that are above Paterno and they kept the secret and by all appearances kept Paterno out of the loop.  And your use of the term "Bozo" to describe me for expressing my opinion is exactly why I wrote in the first place.  You are clueless about who you are speaking to and simply form an opinion based on limited information, again! 



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 13, 2011 6:39 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Paterno and Penn State went to the DA's office and the DA was investigating this whole thing. The DA decided NOT to file charges even after he sat in another room while Sandusky spilled the beans to a mother of one of the victims.
This is exactly my point, bozo!  Paterno and PSU were fully aware of what Sandusky was accused of, and admitted to, in 1998!  You said yourself, he spilled the beans about showering with a young boy to the mother of the victim.  Based on those admissions, Paterno and PSU knew exactly what they were dealing with in 1998, four full years before the rape that McQueary witnessed in 2002.  Even if they DA chose not to prosecute Sandusky at the time, Paterno and PSU owed a duty of due care to not allow Sandusky to continue his conduct on their campus, as an affiliate of the university.  But instead of firing him and severing all ties between him and PSU right then and there, they chose instead to let him retire, gave him an office on campus in the athletic department and conferred professor emeritus status on him!  By allowing him to remain on campus and run his "foundation" from there from 1999 onward, they absolutely facilitated his continued sexual abuse of children ON THEIR CAMPUS, leading to his rape of the child in 2002.  And they covered THAT up by never reporting the incident to police and STILL allowed him to remain on campus until his recent indictment!  This is a sick saga of child molestation and coverup by Paterno and PSU from AT LEAST 1998.  How anyone can try to defend these men is beyond any human comprehension.



Since: Oct 19, 2010
Posted on: November 13, 2011 6:34 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Again, read my earlier post.  You also must not have read the documents.  You simply form an opinion based on whatever media source you are listening to.  The incident in 1998 was reported directly to the University Police who conducted a lengthy investigation.  The investigation was closed only after the then Centre County District Attorney told them to saying there would be no criminal charges.  An investigator with the PA Department of Public Welfare interviewed Sandusky on June 1, 1998 and Sandusky admitted to showering naked with Victim 6 and hugging him in the shower while naked.  He promised he would not shower with any children again.  Ridiculous I know.  The Indictment does not specify a date, but I would be willing to bet that it was a weekend and in the evening to minimize the risk of getting caught.  We do not know if JoePa was told about this or not.  Most would comclude that "He's JoePa... of course he had to have known," but we do not know that.  We do know that Sandusky was pulled in by JoePa in 1999 and informed him that he would not be assuming the head coaching job when he eventually retired.  Sandusky retired in 1999.  As a part of his retirement package, the university gave him an office and keys to the facility to use for his charity, The Second Mile.  Paterno did not give them to him. 



Since: Oct 19, 2010
Posted on: November 13, 2011 6:13 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Did you even read the Indictment or are you one that just sits back and lets others tell you how to think?  JoePa was not told by the Graduate assistant that he saw Sandusky raping a boy.  I am not trying to minimize the assault in any way; however, the report clearly shows the timeline and that nature of what was told to Paterno.  McQueary went to Lasch building at 9:30 PM on a Friday.  He was "so distraught" that he left immediately and went to his office and called his father.  His father told him to leave immediately and come to his home.  Once there, McQueary (Age 28) and his father decided they should promptly report what McQueary had seen to Joe Paterno.  So they did... the next morning.  JoePa contacted Curley Sunday morning and asked him to come to his home  the next morning and told him what McQueary had told him he saw Friday night.  JoePa told Curley that McQueary reported he "had seen Jerry Sandusky in the Lasch Building showers fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy."  Approximately one and a half weeks later McQueary was called to the office of Athletic Director Curley and Senior Vice President for Fiance and Business Gary Schultz.  At that point, McQueary told Curley and Schultz that he what he beleived to be Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the Lasch Building.  Curly and Schultz assured McQueary that they would look into it and determine what further action they would take.  Paterno was not present at that meeting.  Two weeks later, McQueary heard from Curley.  He was told that Sandusky's keys to the locker room were taken away and the incident was reported to the Second Mile.  McQueary was never questioned by the campus police or any other police agency until he testified to the Grand July in December 2010.  However, Curley denied twice under direct questioning that McQueary had told him that he had witnessed anything of a sexual nature or anal sex.  Curley and Schultz both testified that they told Spanier about the incident and how they chose to handle it and he was satisfied with how they handled it.  None of them attempted to learn the identity of the victim.  The incident did not stop with Paterno since he reported it to his direct supervisor.  The incident stopped with Curley, Schultz, and Spanier who chose to handle the issue on their own without reporting it to the police.  We still do not know what was told to JoePa at his home by McQueary, but we can only draw the conclusion that what he was told was consistent with what he told Curley and the Grand Jury since Paterno and McQuery were not charged with perjury.  Curley and Schultz were charged with perjury.  I believe there was a cover up, but it was not on JoePa's behalf.  We will not know until Paterno and McQueary are given the opportunity to talk about the incident openly.  Stop being like the rest of the country and read the documents.  Don't allow the media and all those just trying to stir up hate to affect sound judgment.



Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: November 13, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

loose balls, you must also have a loose brain.  Your refrain to my posting is not laughable, it is morbidly stupid and highly inane.  I guess it is true that it is the water in Ohio that makes for the overwhelming lunatic fringe that is present in your populace.

We are not...Penn State;  We are...State Pen.



Since: Nov 13, 2007
Posted on: November 13, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Goldpanties and Malibu, your comments are laughable. Do you only hear limited information or are you just that narrowminded?

Paterno and Penn State went to the DA's office and the DA was investigating this whole thing. The DA decided NOT to file charges even after he sat in another room while Sandusky spilled the beans to a mother of one of the victims.

As for hiding anything??? They hid nothing. The only thing Paterno did not do was stand up and say, "I am Joe Paterno. I am Penn State. Take this man away forever. He is a monster criminal."

If I were you clowns, I would be asking why didn't McQueery beat the life out of that a-hole Sandusky? 24 year old running to daddy. Sheesh.




Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: November 13, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Regarding Pennsylvania law, and applicable time lines, I wonder what weight will be given to the successful cover up that precluded the matter becoming an investigation?  For you fellow travelers feeling there was no cover up, how do you account for the fact that Paterno did nothing for 24 or more hours after the assistant advised him of the raping?  Further, how do you explain why the shooters did not even talk to the assistant until one and half weeks later? What was PA Joe doing that whole day after receiving the news...watching cartoons?  What were the administrators doing that was so important that they could not even interview the informing coach...planning their annual fund drive campaign?

My guess is that all concerned were doing their respective level best to protect Sandusky, themsleves, and the schools holier than thou reputation.  The only other question I have is,  what else does this so called world class university have to hide?



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 13, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Teres Minor:

 Joe's only real "crime" here was not being a mind-reader.
Not being a mind reader?!  Really?  Paterno & PSU were put on notice about Sandusky's perversion in 1998, when TWO SEPARATE ALLEGATIONS of child sexual abuse were made against Sandusly to the local police.  Paterno & PSU's response to these allegations?  They asked Sandusky to retire (not until 1999), then gave him an office on campus and made him a professor emeritus!  Then when he is caught raping a child in the PSU locker room showers in 2002, their response was to ban him from bringing children on campus!  Not to notify the police, not to sever any association with him and throw him off campus, just told him "don't bring your victims on campus anymore and we won't tell anyone about that little shower incident."  Quit making excuses for Paterno & PSU!  They knew about Sandusky in 1998 and let him remain on campus and prey on little boys for the next 13 years without doing jack about it until he was finally indicted on 40 criminal counts of child sexual abuse!



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 13, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

this just in...

don't blame the victims.


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This coming from a steelers fan!  Cue the tape of steelers fans villifity and harassing ben's victims!!  Oh but that's right!  They weren't victims they were "gold diggers" right! Wink



Since: Jun 2, 2007
Posted on: November 13, 2011 12:08 pm
 

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

what an ignorant comment. Sandusky was the epitome of a wolf in sheep's clothing to everyone outside of State Penn's program.  However people inside the University KNEW the guy was a wolf.  Sandusky founded a charity to help disadvantaged at-risk children; he would appear to be a good man to most people.  Most men who volunteer to help children, spend time with them, help them, are role models to them, would not be pedophiles.  Only the most cynical person would suggest parents should suspect a person of being a pedophile simply because he is offering to spend time with an unrelated child. Imagine a single mother with few resources and an absent father thinking Sandusky was a blessing because a well respected philanthropist was taking the boy to football games.  Ironically, Sandusky's pedophilia was enabled by the "success with honor" culture because the public appearance of honor was more important than actual honor.  The inaction at State Penn is beyond shameful. 


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