Alleged Sandusky victims prepare civil suits

A Dec. 28, 1999 file photo of Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky after the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.
AP Photo/Eric Gay

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Civil lawsuits by at least two of the alleged victims in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case are said to be in the works, reports CBS News investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.

The suits being prepared are against Penn State University and possibly against The Second Mile, the charity for troubled kids which Sandusky founded in 1977.

Eight victims of abuse were listed in the grand jury presentment which documented allegations against the former defensive coach. Prosecutors charge Sandusky's repeated abuse of young boys dates back 15 years, and that he met his victims via The Second Mile.

Three separate, far-reaching investigations are underway into the child abuse scandal - and a university response has already cost four top officials their jobs, including the school's legendary coach Joe Paterno.

On CBS' "The Early Show" this morning, Penn State president Rodney Erickson said other victims may come forward. "That's entirely possible. I'm not aware of any at this point but certainly possible," he said.

Harrisburg attorney Ben Andreozzi told Keteyian that his client, who is one of the victims in the case, said he felt tremendous shame about the alleged sexual abuse at the hands of Sandusky but also felt tremendous guilt about, in the young man's words, bringing the state's lauded and powerful football program "to its knees," and that it was tearing this young man apart.

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The foundation said in a statement the first time they were made aware of the allegations was in 2002. But the State Attorney General's office told CBS News that they had informed Second Mile as early as 1998 of some alleged incidents involving Sandusky.

Keteyian also noted that the attorney for The Second Mile, Wendell Courtney, was the same attorney who represents Penn State University.

Penn State may be protected from tort claims by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which covers state entities (and, possibly, employees), Duke University law professor Doriane Coleman told The New York Times.

Another twist in the case: The website reports that District Judge Leslie Dutchcot, who released Sandusky on $100,000 bail - far less than the $500,000 requested by prosecutors - is a volunteer at The Second Mile.

Complete coverage: The Penn State Scandal

Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions played a home game Saturday, which gave students and families a chance to return to normal - albeit difficult without head coach Joe Paterno, who was absent from the sidelines for the first time in 45 years.

Losses are rarely viewed as wins in football, but Penn State's 17-14 defeat Saturday had elements of a victory. The chaos and confusion of an unspeakable child abuse scandal surrounding Sandusky was replaced by powerful expressions of healing and hope.

"I told them it was a privilege to coach them this week the way they behaved, the way they stood up to a lot of different emotions," interim head coach Tom Bradley told ESPN.

Student body president T.J. Bard expressed hope that after the longest 10 days in school history, a move toward "normal" is slowly underway.

"We're still kind of reeling, I think," Bard told CBS News. "Fundamentally we're looking to move forward and we're looking to recover as fast as possible."