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First 'Penn State Scandal' Civil Suit Filed

The first civil lawsuit brought by an alleged victim of Jerry Sandusky is from a man who says he was sexually abused as a young boy more than 100 times by the former Penn State assistant football coach.

The now-29-year-old man also "claims that Sandusky threatened to harm him and his family if he told authorities about the assaults," Harrisburg's Patriot-News reports.

Identified only as "John Doe," the man is not one of the eight boys included in the grand jury investigation that resulted in 40 criminal charges against Sandusky. That investigation and Sandusky's arrest started a scandal that has engulfed the university and has cost both legendary head football coach Joe Paterno and college President Graham Spanier their jobs because they allegedly didn't alert authorities about warnings they'd received regarding Sandusky.

The suit, filed in Philadelphia, is against Penn State, Sandusky and The Second Mile — a charity for at-risk children founded by Sandusky. According to a copy of the complaint, which PennLive.com has posted here:

-- "John Doe" met Sandusky in 1992, when the then-boy "participated in programs sponsored by Second Mile."

-- "The sexual abuse occurred on multiple occasions and at multiple locations," including "the football coach's locker room" on campus.

-- "Defendants Penn State and Second Mile, had reason to know, or should have had reason to know, that Defendant Sandusky posed a risk and would harm minors, including Plaintiff."

It does not go into detail about the alleged abuses.

Sandusky has said he is innocent of the criminal charges brought against him and that he is not sexually attracted to young boys.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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