Mystery shower sex abuse victim to sue Penn State
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — For months, the identity of the boy who was sexually assaulted in the locker room showers by Jerry Sandusky was one of the biggest mysteries of the Penn State abuse scandal. Now a man has come forward to claim he was that boy and is threatening to sue the university.
The man’s lawyers said Thursday they have gathered “overwhelming evidence” on details of the abuse by Sandusky, the former assistant football coach convicted of using his positions at Penn State and as head of a youth charity to molest boys over a period of 15 years.
Jurors convicted Sandusky last month on 45 sex abuse counts. Those included offenses related to so-called Victim 2 largely on the testimony of Mike McQueary, who was a team graduate assistant at the time and described seeing the shower attack.
“Our client has to live the rest of his life not only dealing with the effects of Sandusky’s childhood sexual abuse, but also with the knowledge that many powerful adults, including those at the highest levels of Penn State, put their own interests and the interests of a child predator above their legal obligations to protect him,” the lawyers said in a news release.
They did not name their client, and The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sex crimes without their consent.
The university said it was taking the case seriously but would not comment on pending litigation.
A recent report conducted by former FBI Director Louis Freeh and commissioned by Penn State criticized top school officials for not attempting to identify Victim 2, saying it showed “a striking lack of empathy.” It said officials looked the other way because they were afraid of bad publicity.
Penn State now faces an unprecedented $60 million fine from the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the prospect of multiple lawsuits by the victims.
The statement from the man’s attorneys said Victim 2 suffered “extensive sexual abuse over many years both before and after the 2001 incident Michael McQueary witnessed.”
McQueary testified at the trial that he had seen Sandusky and a boy, both naked, in a team shower after hearing skin-on-skin slapping sounds.
“I would have described that it was extremely sexual, and I thought that some kind of intercourse was going on,” McQueary said.
McQueary reported the abuse to school officials, including football coach Joe Paterno, but none told police. School trustees fired Paterno, who has since died, because he failed to do more about claims against Sandusky.
The lawyers also released a pair of voicemails to their client recorded last year, in which a voice that purportedly is Sandusky’s expresses his love and says he wants to express his feelings “up front.”
The voicemails are dated Sept. 12 and Sept. 19, less than two months before he was arrested on the child sex abuse charges. The second voicemail asks whether Victim 2 would like to attend Penn State’s next game.
Sandusky left “numerous” voicemails for their client that fall, the attorneys said.
The statement did not say when the lawsuit would be filed or contain details on what redress the plaintiff is seeking. The lawyers said they would not have further comment, and messages left for their spokesman were not immediately returned.
Several messages seeking comment from Sandusky’s lawyers were not immediately returned.
Prosecutors offered no reaction to the lawyers’ announcement Thursday.
“We can’t comment, given both our ongoing criminal prosecutions and our ongoing investigation,” said Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for the attorney general’s office.
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