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: Feb 4, 2010
Posted on: November 16, 2011 1:31 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Previous comment relegated to those who think they know all and that Joe and the rest ALL knew and did nothing...

Since: Feb 4, 2010
Posted on: November 16, 2011 1:28 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Your obviously noy quite bright and unaware of legal procedures as well. Do your homework on the internet regarding the stories from years ago and the legal proceedings, then shut up so the adults can make comments.

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:15 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Again the naive continue to protest (me think they doth much too loudly) PA Joe's innocents and rationalizations.  Anyone on that campus that was aware of the allegations against Sandusky are culpable  and responsible for their actions or in-actions.

We are not...Penn State,  We are...State Pen.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:11 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

The former DA was as crooked as the "leaders" at Penn State.  He disappeared in about 2005 and was finally declared legally dead recently, even though there is no sign of a body.  They all knew about Sandusky, and they all did nothing to stop it, Paterno included.  That makes all of them scum, Paterno included. 

Since: Oct 15, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:08 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Sound Jugdement insists that everyone involved did not do enough to protect these children....PERIOD.  the amount of money that was at stake to be lost if these allegations or the inestigation went forward would have blemished the Penn State Institution...
How many times do you drop the ball before something is actually done.  even by your own admission, this was a cover up and there is no way in HELL that you can tell me that it take s a week and a half to decide to investigat a crime...
Showering with a boy unacceptable in any way shape or form...
I think people are smart enough to read and make up there own minds with out you trying sway and discredit the media...
If Penn state wanted to get out in front of this they have had more than 12 years to do so....
THe fall of Penn State is near...    &nbs

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 10:31 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

Dont cover for paterno at this point.  He did do what was legally required, but in this case his morals are at question.  I do feel  bad that he is the big name in this situation.  But like he said, he should have done more, he not just an average employee.  He is Penn State in the eyes of the world, and he let those victims and the supporters of Penn State down.  
The president of the university is as guilty as Sandusky.  The whole situation is sad. 

Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 10:26 am

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

May Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno & Penn State rot in hell

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: November 13, 2011 11:52 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 13, 2011 8:46 pm

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

First of all, PrisonJohnny (nice screen name), my previous post was NOT directed toward you.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 13, 2011 8:44 pm

Loophole could limit civil suits against Penn St.

And your use of the term "Bozo" to describe me for expressing my opinion is exactly why I wrote in the first place.

First of all, PrisonJohnny (nice screen name), my previous post was directed toward you.  Did you not notice that the quotation I was responding to wasn't yours?  My bozo comment was a response to a ridiculous post by Loose Balls which specifically addressed me. 
(Unless) 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.
Secondly, you have to be delusional if you actually believe that Paterno had no idea about the TWO SEPARATE allegations of sexual misconduct directed at his DC in 1998.  Paterno was his boss, and was the de facto king of that campus.  Of course he knew about the allegations.  Why do you think Sandusky was told in 1999 he would not assume the head coaching job when Paterno retired?  And why do you think he subsequently retired in the prime of his career at the age of 55, just having received the American Football Coaches Association Assitant Coach of the Year award in 1999?  I think it's a very reasonable assumption to make that he was forced into retirement based on his admitted misconduct in 1998.  And I think it's actually inane to assume Paterno knew nothing about any of this when it was his DC and friend of 30 years that was involved in all of this.  If you want to stick you head in the sand and ignore all the facts that point out how deeply this coverup ran at PSU, that's your choice.  But don't expect other reasonable people to drink the same Kool Aid.

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