Penn State University will pay at least $60 million to the men who were sexually abused by the school’s former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. University trustee Ted Brown told The Associated Press that the school had reached tentative settlements with the men, although he noted the total amount to be paid may rise.
In June 2012, a Pennsylvania court found Sandusky guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse of young boys, including attacks that took place inside school facilities. Sandusky, 69, is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison, although he maintains his innocence. Six months ago, a judge denied Sandusky’s request for a new trial.
Penn State trustees created a committee last Friday to approve settlements with the victims out of the public spotlight. The Associated Press reports that 25 of 31 outstanding claims have been covered by the $60 million. School officials will not publicly discuss the dollar amounts until the deals have been finalized. The university’s website claims the school has already spent $46.85 million for lawyers, consultants, and other work. Additionally, the NCAA imposed a $60 million fine to be paid over a five-year period, starting in 2012.
The school has followed through with nearly all the reforms recommended in a report filed last year by former FBI director Louis Freeh. Penn State has hired its first academic integrity officer and director of ethics and compliance, and has trained 16,000 people about their responsibility to report suspected child abuse.
Trustees Chairman Keith Masser told The Washington Post that the goal is to “ensure that our institution never again has to ask whether it did the right thing or whether more could have been done.”
Meanwhile, as WORLD reported yesterday, Sandusky’s adopted son is seeing to have his last name changed. In papers filed on Tuesday, in the same court where his father was convicted, Matt Sandusky filed for a name change for himself, his wife, and his four children. Jerry Sandusky’s defense team had expected Matt to testify on his father’s behalf, but he instead told investigators that his adopted father had abused him, too.