PHILADELPHIA (CN) – John Doe No. 4, an alleged victim of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, sued The Second Mile, the children’s charity Sandusky founded, to stop it from dissipating its assets.
Doe claims Sandusky sexually assaulted him repeatedly at The Second Mile. He wants the foundation’s assets preserved for damage claims from Sandusky’s alleged victims.
Sandusky, who founded The Second Mile in 1977, was charged with 40 counts involving alleged sexual assaults upon eight boys between 1994 and 2009, including Doe No. 4.
A grand jury investigation found that Sandusky assaulted boys while he was a football coach for Penn State and after he retired from coaching, according to Doe’s complaint in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.
The Second Mile, a charity meant to help troubled young boys, offers activities for children “to promote self-confidence as well as physical, academic, and personal success,” according to the complaint.
Doe says Sandusky used the foundation to find and approach his victims, and that Second Mile officials let him get away with it.
Doe says he met Sandusky through The Second Mile in 1996 or 1997, when he was 12 or 13. For the next several years, “John Doe No. 4 was subjected to repeated severe sexual assaults by Sandusky at various locations,” according to the complaint.
Doe claims that Second Mile staff and attorneys were aware of complaints of Sandusky’s sexual assaults of children as early as 1998, but allowed Sandusky to work at Second Mile until he retired in September 2010.
Citing the grand jury’s findings, the complaint states: “Specifically, sometime in 1998, complaints were made to Penn State administrators and to university counsel Wendell Courtney, Esquire, who was also general counsel to The Second Mile, that Sandusky engaged in inappropriate sexual activity with minors in the showers of the locker room at Penn State. Upon information and belief, Courtney is no longer counsel to The Second Mile.
“Further, on March 1, 2002 at 9:30 p.m., a Penn State graduate assistant observed Sandusky subjecting a ten year old boy to anal intercourse while both were naked in the showers located in the locker room at the Lasch Football Building on the University Park Campus.
“After this event, the graduate assistant reported what he had seen to Penn State’s head football coach, who, in turn reported this to the athletic director. Approximately one and a half weeks later, the incident was reported to The Second Mile.
“In particular, then Athletic Director Tim Curley ‘informed Dr. Jack Raykovitz, executive director of the Second Mile of [Sandusky’s] conduct reported to him and met with Sandusky to advise Sandusky that he was prohibited from bringing youth onto the Penn State campus from that point forward. Curley testified that he met again with the graduate assistant and advised him that Sandusky had been directed not to use Penn State’s athletic facilities with young people and “the information” had been given to director of The Second Mile.'” (Brackets in complaint; citations to grand jury report omitted.)
Second Mile CEO Jack Raykovitz resigned on Nov. 13, after Sandusky was indicted. Sandusky is free on $100,000 bail. Raykovitz was replaced by interim CEO David Woodle, according to the complaint.
Doe says The Second Mile was negligent in hiring and retaining Sandusky and facilitated his access to young boys.
He says the foundation, whose net assets were estimated at $8.9 million in January, is planning to “fold,” to avoid paying damages to Sandusky’s alleged victims.
Doe adds: “The New York Times specifically reported that The Second Mile’s interim CEO David Woodle ‘said in an interview Friday [Nov. 18, 2011] that the foundation was seeking to transfer its programs to other nonprofit organizations. The Second Mile’s leaders are looking at organizations that could, and would, carry forward the foundation’s work with disadvantaged youths. He would not say which organizations would be candidates.'” (Brackets in complaint).
The Second Mile said in a statement on Nov. 21 that it was considering restructuring itself, transferring its programs or discontinuing operations, according to the complaint.
Doe says he is one of 11 victims who are planning to sue The Second Mile for negligence and failure to report the sexual abuse of children.
“Upon information and belief, at least eleven (11) alleged victims of Sandusky have come forward and would likely assert civil claims for negligence and violation of Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law against The Second Mile and other persons and organizations who provided access for Sandusky to sexually assault children,” the complaint states.
Doe says that “the liquidation of defendant’s assets will leave The Second Mile judgment proof and allow it to evade justice for the harm to John Doe No. 4 and other victims.”
He wants the foundation’s assets frozen and a receiver appointed.
He is represented by Benjamin Andreozzi, of Harrisburg, and Jeffrey Fritz, with Soloff and Zervanos of Philadelphia.
The Second Mile filed papers seeking dismissal of Doe’s complaint, calling his claims “pure speculation,” according to Bloomberg News.
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