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Victim 2 in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, perhaps better known as Sandusky's shower victim, has finally come forward and is threatening to sue Penn State University, the Associated Press reports.
During Sandusky's criminal trial, then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary testified he witnessed Victim 2 being abused in the Penn State locker room. Unlike some of the other victims, Victim 2 never stepped forward during the criminal trial, but McQueary's testimony was enough to help convict Sandusky.
The victim, who remains unnamed, recently released a statement through his attorneys saying that he suffered "extensive sexual abuse over many years both before and after the 2001 incident Michael McQueary witnessed," the AP reports. The victim's lawyers say that the conduct of Penn State officials in covering up Sandusky's abuse facilitated the continued abuse of their client and they indicated that they intend to file a lawsuit.
The timing of the statement and potential Sandusky shower victim lawsuit is not surprising, as former FBI director Louis Freeh recently released a damning report that implicated former Penn State coach Joe Paterno and several other high-ranking school officials. They are alleged to have turned a blind eye to potential sex abuse in order to protect their school's football program.
Now the university will have the difficult task of arguing that they should not be held liable for the abuse. Perhaps the best defense the university can argue is that it should not be liable for the failures of individual administrators. In other words, just because some high-ranking officials failed to notify the police about Sandusky, this does not mean that the entire university should be held responsible. However, as employers are generally responsible for the acts of their employees, this defense seems weak.
Another possible defense to a potential Sandusky shower victim lawsuit would be to argue that the victim was not actually abused by Sandusky. Before the criminal trial, Sandusky's attorney had claimed that in a meeting with Victim 2, the victim denied being abused by Sandusky, the AP reports. Given that Sandusky was criminally convicted of abusing Victim 2, this defense also seems weak.