Pennsylvania State University is moving closer toward putting its infamous sex-abuse scandal behind it. The school has reached its first settlement with one of the victims of Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach who sexually abused children for years. Twenty-five more settlements will be announced within the next two weeks.
The agreement, announced yesterday, includes a multimillion-dollar payment to victim No. 5 and is among the largest of the settlements reached with the 26 victims. Victim No. 5’s payment is larger because his abuse occurred after Penn State officials had been notified of Sandusky’s inappropriate behavior, according to Michael Rozen, a partner at Feinberg Rozen, which is representing Penn State.
“Victim five is relieved that the long process of the Sandusky trial and the yearlong negotiation process is finally over,” victim No. 5’s attorney, Thomas Kline, wrote in an email to the Wall Street Journal. “The settlement is win-win. My client is fairly and adequately compensated for PSU’s failures and lapses … and PSU now has retained the right to recover a substantial part of this settlement, as well as other settlements, from its insurers.”
In late 2011, news broke that some Penn State officials had ignored and covered up an ongoing sex abuse scandal within its football program involving Sandusky. The fallout was epic: The school officials involved in the cover-up, including famed head coach Joe Paterno, were fired from their posts; serial child molester Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison—likely the rest of his life—for his actions; and the NCAA fined Penn State $60 million for failing to stop the abuse.
For InsideCounsel’s coverage of the case, see: