Penn State settles suit over alleged Sandusky abuse in 2007
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Penn State has settled a lawsuit by a man who claimed former university assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky molested him in a car in 2007, when the man was about 14 years old.
The settlement notice was posted Monday on the Philadelphia courts website and confirmed by a lawyer for the plaintiff, called John Doe in case documents.
The case had been scheduled for trial in late February, but late last month the parties told the judge they no longer needed Sandusky to be brought to Philadelphia from the state prison where he is serving a lengthy sentence.
Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, said Tuesday he denies the man’s allegations of wrongdoing, but does remember taking the boy to visit a coach at Bucknell University and then to dinner.
A Penn State spokeswoman said there is only one pending civil case left related to Sandusky abuse allegations, a Philadelphia lawsuit filed under the name Jack Doe. She declined to comment on the John Doe case being settled.
The university has paid more than $109 million to settle Sandusky abuse claims by at least 35 people.
Sandusky, 73, maintains he was wrongly convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in 2012 and is pursuing appeals.
John Doe was granted judgment against Sandusky last summer after Sandusky, a defendant in the case, did not respond. The trial would have determined how much he might owe in the case. Sandusky had refused to leave his prison cell when attorneys arrived to depose him in April.
Court records show John Doe claimed he met Sandusky around the summer of 2005 through The Second Mile, a charity for at-risk youth Sandusky founded in 1977.
The next year, Sandusky gave him free tickets to Penn State football games and visited him at home when he was sick.
In March 2007, John Doe claimed, Sandusky took him to Bucknell in central Pennsylvania.
He alleged Sandusky touched and rubbed his thigh on the way to meet the coach and when they ate pizza together afterward.
He claimed that on the way home, Sandusky “slowly slid his hand up (the boy’s) thigh and began grabbing, squeezing, rubbing and fondling” his genitals.
The lawsuit says state prosecutors in 2012 “recognized” John Doe as a victim of sexual abuse by Sandusky and that he testified before a grand jury.
John Doe accused Penn State of negligence and recklessness in its handling of Sandusky complaints.
The university had argued in a court filing that it “owes no legal duty” to a young man it did not know who alleged an activity that happened off-campus by a former employee unrelated to school business.