Jerry Sandusky

Penn State settles suit over alleged Jerry Sandusky abuse in 2007

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Penn State settles suit over alleged Jerry Sandusky abuse in 2007

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- 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.

Jerry Sandusky denied new trial on child sex abuse charges

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Jerry Sandusky denied new trial on child sex abuse charges

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky lost a bid Wednesday for a new trial and a second chance to convince a jury he is innocent of the child sexual abuse charges that landed him in state prison to serve a lengthy sentence.

Judge John Foradora denied Sandusky's requests for a new trial or for dismissal of charges.

The former Penn State assistant football coach's lawyers said they were disappointed and planned to appeal the decision to Superior Court.

"The court's decision is not the end of Jerry's case, it is only the closing of a chapter which we need to go through in the course of our endeavor to obtain a new trial, a reversal of his conviction, and ultimately his release and vindication," said defense attorney Al Lindsay.

Sandusky, 73, has consistently maintained he was wrongly convicted. He argued that he did not receive adequate representation at his 2012 trial and that prosecutors should have disclosed more details about changes to victims' stories.

"Although he was denied access to the victims' psychological records, Sandusky was permitted to call witnesses to explore whether the victims had undergone repressed memory therapy prior to trial, and he did explore that subject" with victims and other witnesses, Foradora wrote.

Foradora also rejected arguments that Sandusky's lawyers should not have let him waive a preliminary hearing, should not have allowed him to give a television interview after his arrest, and should have done more to challenge the identity of a young man described as Victim 2 in court records.

The judge said the bulk of Sandusky's claims lacked merit.

"Those that remain, whether they fail for want of prejudice or because (trial defense attorney Joe) Amendola's actions or failure to act were informed by a reasonable strategy, do not combine to call into question the overall effectiveness of the defense counsel provided or the legitimacy of the verdict," Foradora concluded.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said prosecutors have "achieved justice" for Sandusky's victims and are confident the convictions will stand.

"Hopefully, today's decision will allow the victims of Mr. Sandusky to live their lives knowing that this serial sexual abuser will remain behind bars," said Shapiro, a Democrat.

Sandusky has been serving a 30- to 60-year sentence. Eight of his accusers testified at trial, describing abuse that ranged from grooming and fondling to violent sexual attacks.

The case, among the biggest scandals in college football history, led to major changes at Penn State and new state laws governing child abuse in Pennsylvania and other states.

Sandusky spent three decades at the university as an assistant to Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno before retiring in 1999.

The decision follows previous rulings against Sandusky by the state's Supreme and Superior courts.

Foradora was brought in nearly a year ago after the trial judge, John Cleland, removed himself in response to sharp criticism by Sandusky's lawyers of a meeting that Cleland participated in before Sandusky waived a preliminary hearing in 2011.

Penn State's former president, Graham Spanier, and two other ex-administrators, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, were sentenced to jail time earlier this year after Spanier was found guilty and the others pleaded guilty to child endangerment for their handling of a 2001 complaint about Sandusky showering with a boy. Spanier is free on bail while he appeals his conviction.

The scandal has cost Penn State more than $200 million in fines, settlements and other costs, and the football program was hit with significant NCAA penalties that were later dialed back.

Ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier's suit against ex-FBI boss dismissed

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Ex-Penn State president Graham Spanier's suit against ex-FBI boss dismissed

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier's criminal conviction means he is barred from pursuing defamation claims against former FBI director Louis Freeh, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

Spanier, who said Freeh made false statements about him in a scathing 2012 report on Penn State's handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, was convicted in March of covering up a 2001 abuse allegation against the retired assistant football coach.

Citing Spanier's conviction, Freeh's lawyers argued the defamation suit should be dismissed. Senior Judge Robert Eby said in his ruling that lawyers for both sides agreed Spanier's conviction on a child endangerment count barred him from pursuing his civil claims.

Freeh, in a statement issued by his lawyer, said he was "not surprised that this frivolous and malicious claim has finally been dismissed."

Freeh concluded in his report for Penn State's board of trustees that Spanier, two other administrators and late football coach Joe Paterno concealed abuse allegations against Sandusky for more than a decade out of a desire to avoid bad publicity for the university.

Former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz pleaded guilty to child endangerment and were sentenced to jail.

Spanier faces two months in jail but is free on bail while he appeals. He said in a statement Wednesday that he's confident he will win his appeal and will be able to resume his defamation case against Freeh.

Sandusky was found guilty in 2012 of sexually abusing 10 boys and is serving 30 to 60 years in prison. He has maintained his innocence.

Penn State has paid out nearly a quarter-billion dollars in fines, settlements and other costs associated with the sex abuse scandal, and the football program suffered heavy NCAA sanctions. More than 100 of Paterno's victories were briefly erased from the record books.

Paterno's family and supporters hotly dispute Freeh's findings.