Altoona attorney Daniel Kiss released a statement Wednesday that claimed his client was sexually abused by Sandusky while attending a football camp at Penn State in 1988. The victim sought criminal charges against Sandusky but was turned down by Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office last week.
“The attorney reviewed the applicable statutes and found that the case couldn’t be filed because it had surpassed the statute of limitations,” said Chuck Ardo, Kane’s press secretary. “They just didn’t feel that the case could be filed under the statutes as written.”
State statutes, in most child sexual abuse cases occurring before August 2002, require criminal charges to be brought within 12 years of the victim’s 18th birthday. There can be some variations to that rule, however, if certain fact patterns apply.
Since the attorney general’s office decided not to prosecute the private criminal complaint against Sandusky, Kiss said he will file an appeal in Centre County Court next week to receive a court order that would force Kane’s office to prosecute the complaint.
“The opportunity to stare down their accuser is one of the biggest things in the healing process,” Kiss said.
Sandusky, the longtime defensive coordinator to legendary Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, was convicted in June 2012 of molesting 10 boys whom he had met through his Second Mile youth charity activities.
He is currently serving a minimum 30-year state prison sentence for those crimes.
Kiss, a former child assault prosecutor in Blair County, said the attorney general’s office was not surprised by his decision to file an appeal.
“This is not a shock to them,” Kiss said. “I told them way back at the very, very beginning when we spoke to them ‘No matter what occurs, if you deny, we’re, of course, going to appeal because the reality is this kid needs justice.'”
Once the appeal is filed in Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, Kiss said a judge will have carte blanche to decide how to proceed. The judge could decide to have a hearing, make a decision from the appeal motion or allow for full presentation of the evidence.
“It’s up to the court, how the court wants to rule,” Kiss said.
Kiss, who is only handling the victim’s criminal complaint, said he believes the victim has sought a civil settlement.
Kenneth Feinberg, whose law firm Feinberg & Rozen was hired by Penn State to mediate the Sandusky claims, said he neither confirm nor deny if the victim’s case was reviewed for a civil settlement.
“It’s all confidential, I can’t respond,” Feinberg said. “When we do these mediations, they are done under an absolute confidentiality agreement so that even the filing of a civil mediation would remain sealed.”
A 2014 CNN story, which Kiss indicates is about his client, says the victim had refused to settle with Penn State.
“He and his family said they didn’t feel Penn State’s settlement offer was fair, given the fact that three university officials have been charged with knowing about abuse in 1998 and in 2001, and not doing enough to stop it,” the CNN story says.
Kiss said the criminal and civil cases are completely separate. The outcome of one, he said, should not affect the other.
“Everybody’s opinion is ‘Oh, he just wants more money,'” Kiss said. “The reality is they should not have any affect on one another whatsoever.”
Full article: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/05/ags_office_turns_down_sandusky.html