Judge bars disclosure of alleged victim's identity in Sandusky case

Jerry Sandusky, 67, is charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of eight young boys over several years.

Story highlights

  • NEW: Former Penn State v.p. says Paterno demanded reduced discipline for players
  • NEW: Attorneys for an alleged victim say they expected an effort to publicly identify the boy
  • A Pennsylvania judge issues a temporary order protecting boy and his family
  • Boy's attorneys claim Sandusky's defense seeks to expose victims' identities
A Pennsylvania judge has issued a temporary order barring courts and attorneys from disclosing the name of a boy who was allegedly sexually abused by former assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Judge Kathy A. Morrow's order also sealed parts of Sandusky's criminal case relating to "John Doe" or containing personal identifying information about him or his family, court documents said.
Meanwhile, a former Penn State vice president accused the former school president and former football coach Joe Paterno of demanding -- and receiving -- reduced punishment and special treatment for football players facing disciplinary action.
Attorneys representing the alleged victim said Wednesday they sought the order because "we expect the lawyers representing Jerry Sandusky and the other Penn State defendants to file court documents that would publicly identify our client or his family," said Andrew Shubin, one of the victim's attorneys.
"Right now our client and the other victims we are speaking with are terrified about being publicly identified, and we will continue to do everything legally possible to prevent that from happening," Shubin said in a statement. The court order was issued Tuesday.
Sandusky and his attorneys couldn't be reached for immediate comment Wednesday.
Justine Andronici, another attorney for the alleged victim, charged that Sandusky's attorneys will try to attack the victims' credibility.
"Confidentiality is an essential protection for victims of sexual abuse," Andronici said in a statement, "and it is especially important in this case because of the intense media attention and the pressure that many of these victims are under."
The attorneys for John Doe are part of a legal team that is advising the alleged rape victims and is planning to file lawsuits against the responsible parties.
Sandusky, 67, is charged with 40 counts in the alleged sexual abuse of eight young boys over several years.
At the heart of the Penn State scandal are accusations that Sandusky, the retired defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team, sexually abused a boy at the university football complex, and that law enforcement officials were not notified.
According to grand jury documents, a graduate assistant told head football coach Paterno in 2002 that he had seen Sandusky performing anal sex on a young boy in a football complex shower. Paterno told athletic director Tim Curley, who told Gary Schultz, a university vice president. Some information about the allegations eventually reached President Graham Spanier, according to the grand jury.
Paterno has said he did "what I was supposed to do." But in a later statement, he said "with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."
It took years for the alleged abuse to become public.
Authorities also charged Curley and Schultz with misleading the grand jury investigating the allegations and failing to report suspected abuse. Their attorneys have declared that the men are innocent.
Curley and Schultz stepped aside November 6, within a day of the charges, and before the week was out, trustees had fired both Paterno -- the winningest football coach in Division I history -- and Spanier.
The NCAA and the U.S. Department of Education are also investigating the university's handling of the scandal.
Meanwhile, the former vice president for student affairs at Penn State alleged Paterno and university president Spanier demanded special treatment and reduced sanctions against football players violating the student code of conduct.
Vicky L. Triponey, the vice president from 2003 to 2007, said in a statement Wednesday that the university held "an ongoing internal debate" during her tenure about who should make decisions about the disciplinary status of football players.
"Conversations surrounding this debate included among others, the student affairs professionals charged with enforcing the student code of conduct, members of athletic administration, the head football coach, the president of the university, and me as the vice president for student affairs," Triponey said in the statement. She provided the statement to CNN in response to a request for an interview.
Triponey said that Spanier or Paterno or both had "numerous meetings and discussions" with her over the years about student discipline cases involving football players.
"The nature of those interactions consisted of suggestions, requests and at times demands that we adjust our process, alter the outcome and/or reduce the sanctions imposed on football players who were found responsible for various violations of the student code of conduct," Triponey said.
"As a result of these various meetings and conversations, my staff and I felt compelled to alter how we handled cases involving Penn State football players," she said. "The consequence of these accommodations put us in the position of treating football players more favorably than other students accused of violating the community standards as defined by the student code of conduct."
CNN left a message on Spanier's home voice mail Wednesday night seeking comment on Triponey's statement, but there was no immediate response from Spanier.