The first young man who came forward to accuse former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky of sexual abuse in the ongoing Penn State University scandal is suing the university for negligence.
Revelations that Sandusky had been abusing young men in Penn State's facilities rocked the university and its renowned football program, leading to the firing of iconic football coach Joe Paterno on the grounds that he had been warned of the abuse but did not alert the police. A jury recently convicted Sandusky on 45 criminal counts for sexual abusing 10 boys.
The new lawsuit goes beyond Sandusky, charging that university officials are at fault for failing to turn Sandusky in despite knowing about his acts. The complaint, filed anonymously on behalf of Victim 1, names the university itself as a defendant, according to the Associated Press.
It could represent another blow for Penn State, which has already seen its legendary -- and lucrative -- football program hit with severe penalties. In addition to firing Paterno, the school was forced to vacate all of its football victories from 1998 to 2011 and faces a $60 million fine and a four-year post-season ban.
In the complaint, Victim 1 alleges that the longtime failure to prosecute Sandusky was "a function of (Penn State's) purposeful, deliberate and shameful subordination of the safety of children to its economic self-interests, and to its interest in maintaining and perpetuating its reputation."
Penn State failed to act because it believed "its reputation and economic interests would be adversely impacted if the public learned that a man closely associated with the school's football program was, in fact, a pedophile," the complaint says.
The suit also mentions Sandusky's work for Second Mile, a charity for young people that gave him access to vulnerable youths while providing an excuse for him to interact with them. It says a "special relationship" between Penn State and Second Mile allowed the illegal pattern of behavior to continue.
More legal action could be coming. The Associated Press notes that another Sandusky victim has filed a lawsuit and cites lawyers who warn that others might also seek legal recourse.