A man who says he is the unidentified victim in the now-infamous 2001 shower assault by Jerry Sandusky is a "charlatan" seeking "to profit from the suffering of real victims," a lawyer for one former Pennsylvania State University administrator said.
Tom Farrell, who represents former university vice president Gary Schultz, questioned the man's claims in a statement released Wednesday.
Citing discovery material obtained in his client's defense against perjury and other charges, Farrell charted several instances in which the alleged victim changed his story with investigators, prompting doubt among prosecutors about his credibility.
Despite Farrell's complaints against the man, the lawyer said Wednesday, he was barred by court order from publicly naming him.
"All of the attorneys - defense lawyers and prosecutors - are aware of the individual's identity and have evaluated his credibility or lack thereof," Farrell's statement read. "All parties to the Sandusky trial declined to call him as a witness."
Farrell's view of the man's problematic involvement with the Sandusky investigation largely follows similar concerns raised by those close to investigation in interviews with The Inquirer days after he first came forward in July. If true, the man's claim would solve one of the key mysteries remaining in the case.
"Mr. Farrell's comments are nothing more than a regurgitation of Jerry Sandusky's failed defense strategy attacking his victims, many of whom initially denied being abused," said Matt Casey and Joel Feller, part of the team of attorneys representing the man. "The identity of the boy in the shower is not now, nor has it ever been, in doubt."
Victim 2's assault more than a decade ago, witnessed by then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, is the central incident tying Sandusky's crimes to an alleged cover-up by Penn State administrators, including Schultz. But throughout the former assistant football coach's June trial, prosecutors repeatedly stressed that the boy's identity remained unknown.
The group of civil attorneys representing the man released a series of voice mails that Sandusky allegedly left their client as proof he was Victim 2. They refused to answer questions that might help corroborate that he was the boy McQueary saw.
Prosecutors have declined to publicly comment on the credibility of the man's claims, but in private, investigators involved in the case have expressed their doubts.
They first approached the man in 2010, but he denied any abuse by the former coach, they said. When news accounts first surfaced of the grand jury's investigating Sandusky, the man wrote a letter defending him to his local newspaper.
But in a series of interviews over the next two years, the man changed his story, conforming his details to the unfolding developments in the case, said Farrell.
In one interview, the man adamantly insisted he was abused in 2002, the date prosecutors initially floated for the alleged shower assault, even though, at the time, investigators knew that it had actually happened a year earlier, according to sources close to the investigation, who were not authorized to speak on the record. Once prosecutors officially changed the date of the attack to 2001, the man also sought to change his story.
As of Wednesday, the man who says he is Victim 2 had not yet filed a civil suit. But Farrell said his statements interfered with Schultz's right to a fair trial.
Schultz, along with suspended athletic director Tim Curley, face trial in January on allegations that they did not do enough when McQueary reported the shower incident and later lied about their knowledge to a grand jury.
Both have entered not-guilty pleas.
Since Sandusky's arrest, three other accusers who did not participate in his trial have sued the university - the latest of which came Monday from a Dauphin County 22-year-old who claimed the former coach molested him in 2005.