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, 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.

Since: Oct 15, 2009
Posted on: November 13, 2011 8:40 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 13, 2011 8:32 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Just a note, if a Defendant dies prior to a conclusion of a civil suit, it DOES NOT cancel the law suit. The suit would be continued against the "estate of Joe Paterno" So the "leaches"(I prefer to call them sexual abuse victims although I'm there are some people looking to latch on for some money) would still get their money.

 Also, these allegations didn't come forward because of money. Actually, a mother of one of the children reported one of the incidents in 2009 to police and the principal of the school, which in turn began the investigation. So, actually, it was a parent trying to protect her child. As with most sexual abuse cases involving children, they are either afraid of the abuser, or too embarrassed to admit to it.  However, once one brave child does, the others find the support required to tell about their own experiences.

 I understand the cynicism in today's world, but you sound ignorant to think this was ONLY about the money.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: November 13, 2011 3:51 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

I read a story that indicated Sandusky might've been pimping the children out too ? To old fa6's that were into that kind of thing ? Not sure how true it is ?

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: November 13, 2011 3:29 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

 So, a 10 year old, at the mercy of a (help me out here) x year old person, has no recourse to sue because he was not -in the eyes of the law- "forcibly compulsed".
 How sick can this get?
 A 10 year old was willing to get raped up the a$$? Is that what the state of Pennsylvania is saying?
You all live in a sick society in the state of PA.

Since: Aug 1, 2011
Posted on: November 13, 2011 12:33 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

As Always it's about money !! the only reason they finally came forward to these alleged crimes , wonder what doyell is gonna write about this ? maybe Joe should give up his pension lol ..... the only good thing for Paterno and he is 84 and with all the delays in civil trials he won't outlive a lengthy batte , then the leahers get nothing ..

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or