The man known only as “Victim 1” in the Jerry Sandusky grand jury presentment has retained two Philadelphia-area attorneys to represent him and his mother in connection with the Pennsylvania State University child sex-abuse scandal that has rocked both the commonwealth and nation.
Michael J. Boni of the Bala Cynwyd, Pa.-based law firm of Boni & Zack LLC and Philadelphia attorney Slade McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., will represent one of the eight victims named in a scathing 40-count grand jury report handed up earlier this month, according to joint news release issued by the two lawyers.
“We will represent our clients in connection with all phases of this tragic set of events,” Boni stated in the release. “We will protect their interests as they assist the prosecution in the criminal proceeding; we will deflect attention away from them so that they can focus on school and work and go about their daily lives in privacy; and, when the time is right, we will represent them in a civil action against Sandusky and others.”
McLaughlin, who is currently handling another child sex-abuse case, one against Catholic clergy from the Philadelphia Archdiocese, said in the statement that he would draw upon his experience representing victims of priest sex abuse when handling the Sandusky case.
“One of our clients there is also a witness for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in connection with an ongoing criminal proceeding,” McLauglin said in the statement. “These are very difficult cases because of the sensitive, gut wrenching subject matter, but Mike and I are equal to the task.”
Sandusky was arrested earlier this month after the grand jury presentment was made public. The former Penn State assistant football coach is facing child molestation charges dating back to the 1990s.
Also charged in the scandal are Penn State’s former business administrator and its athletic director. The two, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, are charged with perjury for allegedly lying to the grand jury about their knowledge of the sex abuse allegations. They are also facing failure to report charges.
Various civil claims are expected to arise out of the scandal, which led to the firings of both Penn State’s president and longtime football coach.
The first such action was filed Wednesday at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas court on behalf of one of Sandusky’s alleged victims. (See the Pennsylvania Record’s story today on the filing).