Today it was announced that Victim #2 is stepping forward to sue Penn State University for its role in the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal case. The victim's attorneys released a statement today stating their intent to file a civil lawsuit against the school and "others" and "to hold them accountable for the egregious and reckless conduct that facilitated the horrific abuse." And they have some pretty strong evidence to back it up.
Along with the statement, they released two chilling voicemail messages they say Sandusky sent to the victim just before he was arrested in 2011. They say that in them Sandusky "was attempting to exert control over" the victim, who was abused by Sandusky in the locker room showers, and that's exactly what it sounds like.
In the first he says he wants to "be very firm and express my feelings, uh, upfront." In the second he invites him to a Penn State game.
Listening to them is difficult at best. Hearing him end each one with "I love you" makes me want to wretch, and I hope these recordings and the other "overwhelming evidence" they say they have will help build a solid case against Penn State.
Sure Sandusky is behind bars now, but that doesn't mean justice has been served. It doesn't erase the fact that evidence has shown the university chose football over children. To quote Former FBI Director Louis Freeh:
Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.
Yes, they've removed the Joe Paterno statue. And yes, the NCAA issued severe sanctions against the university. Some will say that's enough already, and I do wonder just how innocent students and faculty could be affected in the wake. But first and foremost, the victims have the right to see justice carried out on their account.
As the attorneys stated:
Our client has to live the rest of his life not only dealing with the effects of Sandusky's childhood sexual abuse, but also with the knowledge that many powerful adults, including those at the highest levels of Penn State, put their own interests and the interests of a child predator above their legal obligations to protect him.
Nothing will ever justify what happened, but hopefully at least a small piece of justice can be served to victims.
What did you think of the voice mails Sandusky left for Victim #2? Do you hope to see Penn State have to pay the victims?
Image via Centre County Correctional Facility