Web of liability may extend far beyond Penn State University
Liability issues in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal could expand to police and school districts in central Pennsylvania as well as the state Department of Public Welfare, according to a University of Pennsylvania law professor.
Seth Kreimer, an expert in civil rights and constitutional litigation, is working with a team of State College lawyers and a Washington civil rights law firm representing victims who say they were assaulted as children by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
"It may be that Penn State officials are not the only ones who could be liable for knowing about the abuse and keeping quiet. We may find that officials of the Penn State police, local school districts and the Department of Public Welfare should be named as defendants as well," Kreimer said in a statement issued by Washington-based civil rights firm Katz, Marshall & Banks.
Sandusky, who maintains his innocence, was charged with assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period. A grand jury that investigated the allegations concluded university officials were apprised of an alleged assault in 2002 but failed to notify police and permitted Sandusky to continue to bring boys onto campus after his 1999 retirement.
Reached at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Kreimer declined to elaborate on what may be a widening web of liability. He said only that the team of attorneys including David Marshall, a partner with Marshall, Katz & Banks, and Centre County attorney Andrew Shubin, who has been in contact with multiple victims, is "developing a legal strategy based on the facts as they unfold."
Shubin told The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News that he spoke with additional alleged victims who contacted him after Sandusky professed his innocence in a TV interview this week.
The legal team has yet to file a lawsuit, but Marshall insisted Penn State will be a target and bears liability for the alleged assaults, some of which authorities say occurred on university property.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.