HARRISBURG — A man identified only as John Doe who claimed Jerry Sandusky abused him as a boy has settled his lawsuit against Penn State, his lawyer said Thursday.
The settlement is at least the 20th among more than 30 cases stemming from the former Penn State assistant football coach’s sexual abuse of children.
Harrisburg attorney Don Bailey said Thursday that his client has agreed to end his lawsuit in federal court in Harrisburg, but would not discuss the terms of the settlement, citing a confidentiality agreement with Penn State.
Bailey said his client has not revealed his identity, although court papers describe him as a 23-year-old black man who was raised in Dauphin County. A spokesman for Penn State said that while the university is making progress on resolving the claims, it cannot comment on the settlements.
The man attended camps run by Sandusky charity for at-risk children, The Second Mile, for several summers during his youth beginning in 2001, according to the lawsuit filed a year ago in federal court in Harrisburg.
In 2005, when the boy was 14, he was participating in a summer camp where he and other boys were taken to a pool on the Penn State campus and met Sandusky, the suit says.
While the boy was in the water, Sandusky approached him and fondled his genitals while remarking, “what have we here,” the suit alleges.
Bailey alleged on his client’s behalf that Penn State and The Second Mile violated the man’s right to be free from assault by state officials under federal law, and was liable for sexual abuse, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress under state law.
In addition to Sandusky, Penn State and The Second Mile, the suit named as defendants Edgewater Psychiatric Center, a Harrisburg counseling service which referred the boy to the summer camps; university officials including former President Graham Spanier and two aides now facing criminal charges they covered up Sandusky’s crimes; and the university’s former general counsel and his law firm.
It was unclear whether the other defendants contributed to the settlement.
Spanier, retired Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley are awaiting trial on charges they lied to a grand jury investigating abuse by Sandusky. The case has not advanced since July when a Dauphin County district judge ordered them to stand trial.
Penn State’s board of trustees voted in July to authorize settlements with an undisclosed number of victims. Sources said university officials had discussed $80 million as the upper limit of what they were willing to pay to the men who came forward with claims of abuse after Sandusky was charged.
The trustees hired renown mediators Kenneth Feinberg and Michael Rozen to negotiate settlements with the men. Rozen and Feinberg did not return phone calls Thursday, but Rozen told Penn State’s Daily Collegian last week that as many as 27 claims have been resolved, leaving five to be settled.
Sandusky, 69, coached at Penn State for nearly 30 years earning the university the nick name “Linebacker U.” He was convicted in June 2012 of 45 counts related to the sexual abuse of 10 young men between 1994 and 2009.