Sandusky’s wife, Penn State may face civil suits from abuse victims
Bellefonte, PA, United States (4E Sports) – While the Jerry Sandusky child abuse trial is over, the former Penn State assistant coach’s wife, Dottie, may spend more time in the courtroom as she faces potential civils suit that may be filed by the victims.
“I think criminally she’s probably in the clear. Civilly, people are going to be suing Jerry Sandusky,” says ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams.
Abrams said the burden of proof in a civil case is generally considered less than a criminal case but with Sandusky being guilty of 45 counts, victims have a lot of proof on their side.
“I expect that family will walk away with almost no money after all of this is said and done,” Abrams said.
The victims can also file a civil suit against Penn State, where some of the abuses reportedly happened in the shower room of the university’s football squad.
Well aware that they could be the next target of a lawsuit, the university has reached out to the victims by providing a forum where they can address their concerns.
“We want to provide a forum where the university can privately, expeditiously and fairly address the victims’ concerns and compensate them for claims relating to the university,” Penn State said in a statement.
It was reported that six of the eight known male victims have hired lawyers since Sandusky was convicted of 45 sex-related counts in Pennsylvania.
“There is no doubt that we are going to file a claim against Penn State,” said Attorney Tom Kline, who represents one of the victims. “Jerry Sandusky may have been the perpetrator, but Penn State was his enabler.”
The university has launched its own investigation headed by former FBI Director Louis Freeh to determine if Sandusky’s behavior was ignored by fellow faculty or senior administrators as far back as 2001.
Dottie, for her part, had stood by her man during the course of the trial, even testifying that the victims were just conniving to pin down and destroy her husband’s reputation.
But her credibility took a hit after their adopted son Matt came out and revealed that he was also allegedly abused by Sandusky.
“Now she has to look at herself everyday in the mirror and admit that her own son, her own adopted son was being victimized right under her nose and she did nothing about it,” said Dr. Jeff Gardere, a psychologist who practices in Manhattan.
Sandusky, 68, is in the Centre County jail under suicide watch, while he awaits his sentencing date.