Penn State Approves Settlement Offers to Jerry Sandusky Victims

By Sophia Pearson | July 16, 2013

Pennsylvania State University said it approved settlement offers to some victims of Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys.

The offers will be made to some people who made claims against the university related to Sandusky, the university said yesterday in a statement. It didn’t specify the number of claims or whether they involved the victims who testified against Sandusky during his trial last year. No dollar amounts were given for the settlements.

“Today’s action is yet another important step toward the resolution of claims from Sandusky’s victims,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in the statement. “The University intends to deal with these individuals in a fair an expeditious manner, with due regard to their privacy.”

Sandusky is serving a minimum 30-year prison sentence for abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky, who was convicted by a jury in June 2012 on 45 criminal counts, committed some of his crimes in campus buildings and while he was employed by the school.

A report by Louis Freeh, the former FBI director, found that red flags involving Sandusky were numerous and university officials ignored them to avoid bad publicity. Penn State faces at least six lawsuits over the abuse. The university has said it plans to compensate victims with money from insurance policies and funds set aside from interest on loans.

Feinberg Hired

The university hired attorney Kenneth Feinberg of Feinberg Rozen LLP to facilitate negotiations with Sandusky victims. Feinberg is the mediator who oversaw claims by victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and also served as administrator of the $20 billion fund to pay victims of the 2010 BP Plc oil spill.

No settlement agreements have been signed, according to the statement. The school said it will not comment further until the settlements have been completed and agreements executed.

“Penn State has no definitive timetable set for the signed agreements, but officials hope to conclude the process with the majority of the claimants within the next several weeks,” according to the statement.

(With assistance from Ron Musselman in Pittsburgh. Editors: Andrew Dunn, Glenn Holdcraft.)

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