(Updates with lawyer’s comment in 10th paragraph.)
Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Second Mile, the charity for needy children started by Jerry Sandusky, asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by an alleged victim of the former Pennsylvania State University coach seeking to freeze the foundation’s assets.
The complaint lacks any factual basis apart from “pure speculation,” Howard Rosenthal, an attorney for the charity, said in papers filed yesterday in state court in Philadelphia. At a minimum, the case should be transferred to state court in State College, Pennsylvania, where Second Mile is located, Rosenthal said in the filing.
“Any sexual abuse suffered by plaintiff or any other victim, especially children, is a tragedy of unspeakable depth,” Rosenthal said in the filing. “But the assertion that such abuse might have occurred, and the claim that a charitable organization’s negligence may have proximately contributed to such abuse, does not warrant the extraordinary relief plaintiff seeks here.”
Sandusky was charged Nov. 5 with 40 counts related to alleged molestation of eight boys from 1994 to 2009. Prosecutors allege Sandusky, who founded Second Mile in 1977, used the charity to find his victims.
The organization, which serves children with physical, emotional and academic needs, saw its assets more than triple from 2002 through 2009. Net assets were estimated at $7.9 million as of Nov. 24, according to court papers.
John Doe #4
The plaintiff, identified only as John Doe #4, sued on Nov. 23 seeking a court order barring the charity from dissolving its assets. The complaint, which also asked for the appointment of a receiver, seeks to preserve the foundation’s assets for any future potential claim for damages, according to court papers.
There is no basis to the plaintiff’s arguments that an injunction is needed because of reports of the charity’s demise, Rosenthal said in the filing.
“There is no reference whatsoever to the disposition of any of TSM’s assets, either having already occurred, or being imminent or planned,” Rosenthal said.
Second Mile said in a statement on Nov. 21 that it’s considering restructuring the organization, transferring its programs or discontinuing operations. The charity’s former president, Jack Raykovitz, resigned this month after a grand jury report said that foundation officials were aware of Sandusky’s contact with boys in Penn State football showers as early as 1998.
Michael Boni, a Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based lawyer, said today in an e-mail that he represents “Victim 1” and his mother. Boni said he believed, while not knowing for certain, that all of the victims and others who testified before the grand jury were expected at a preliminary hearing in the criminal case against Sandusky on Dec. 13.
The case is John Doe #4 v. The Second Mile, 11112384, Court of Common Pleas Philadelphia County.
--With assistance from Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles. Editors: Stephen Farr, Andrew Dunn
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