Sandusky met the boy through The Second Mile, his charity for disadvantaged children, and earned the boy's trust with gifts and trips to sporting events, the suit says. He abused the boy in the locker rooms at Penn State's football facility, at Sandusky's home and when the boy traveled to another state with Sandusky for a Penn State bowl game, the suit alleges.
During a 1996 visit to Philadelphia with the accuser, in a bid to secure his compliance and silence, Sandusky threatened to harm the boy's family if he told anyone about the abuse, the suit says. Sandusky also told the boy no one would believe him if he spoke out, the accuser's attorneys said.
The suit names Sandusky, Penn State University and The Second Mile as defendants.
The plaintiff, now 29 and identified in the lawsuit only as John Doe, remained silent until after Sandusky was charged in November with 40 counts of sexually abusing children.
When the accuser learned of the charges, he was overcome by rage, confusion and torment, said his lawyer, Jeff Anderson, a St. Paul, Minn., attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases, including claims against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
"The torment is that he has now learned there were other kids who were abused after him," Anderson said in a news conference Wednesday after the suit was filed.
Anderson read a handwritten statement by the accuser during the news conference:
"Now that I have told and done something about it I am feeling better and going to get help and work with the police. I want other people who have been hurt to know they can come forward and get help and help protect others in the future," the statement says.
By failing to stop Sandusky and report him to authorities, Penn State and The Second Mile allowed the plaintiff and potentially dozens of other victims to suffer in silence, secrecy and shame, Anderson said.
"The lawsuit begs the question: Why did so many men and adults, for so long, make choices to protect themselves and the institution of Penn State at the peril of so many kids?" Anderson said.
The suit alleges that Penn State and The Second Mile are responsible for systemic failures to recognize signs that the former assistant football coach was molesting children possibly as far back as the 1970s. Sandusky founded The Second Mile in 1977.
The goal of the suit, Anderson said, is to bring "not just light, but heat" to engender change in an iconic Pennsylvania institution and protect children in the future.
"No less than 17 men, by my count, are revealed in the grand jury report alone to have had signs or signals that should have led them to protect the kids instead of the institutions to which they were loyal," Anderson said.
The suit is the first civil claim against Sandusky, Penn State and The Second Mile since the Pennsylvania attorney general's office announced the charges accusing Sandusky of sexually abusing eight boys between 1994 and 2008. The plaintiff in Wednesday's lawsuit was not among the eight boys Sandusky is charged with abusing.
Anderson's co-counsel, Marci Hamilton, of Washington Crossing, Bucks County, said the victim reported his allegations against Sandusky to the attorney general's office Tuesday. Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for the attorney general, said he could not comment on the investigation.
"This is a survivor who had never told anybody until he saw the allegations by other survivors," Hamilton said. "That was his first sense that he was ready to tell someone, that he needed to tell someone."
In addition to adding a ninth accuser, the suit expands the time frame of allegations against Sandusky. The abuse described in the lawsuit allegedly started before the earliest incident in the grand jury report.
The victim, who no longer lives in Pennsylvania, is seeking at least $900,000 in damages — $100,000 from Sandusky, $400,000 from Penn State and $400,000 from The Second Mile. The suit alleges negligence, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation and conspiracy to endanger children.