Penn State to pay Sandusky victims

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AFP

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in his child sex abuse case in 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. File photo: AFP

Pennsylvania - Penn State University has agreed to pay $59.7 million to settle claims by 26 child sex abuse victims of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, officials said on Monday.

“We hope this is another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr. Sandusky, and another step forward for Penn State,” University President Rodney Erickson said in a statement.

“We cannot undo what has been done, but we can and must do everything possible to learn from this and ensure it never happens again at Penn State,” he added.

Sandusky, 69, was convicted in June 2012 on 45 criminal counts of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison in a case that tarnished the reputation of Penn State and its late football coach Joe Paterno.

“The settlement amounts will not be funded by student tuition, taxpayer funds or donations,” Penn State said on its website.

It said the university maintains various liability insurance policies it believes will cover the settlements.

Sandusky lost a bid earlier this month for a new trial.

Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Jack Panella, writing for a three-judge appeals panel, rejected claims that defense attorneys were not given enough time to prepare, jury instructions were flawed and prosecutors made improper comments during the trial about Sandusky's decision not to testify.

Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football history until he was stripped of more than 100 victories because of the scandal, lost his job at Penn State for failing to report Sandusky to authorities.

Paterno died early last year at age 85, about two months after he was fired.

Three former Penn State administrators, including the former president, Graham Spanier, face criminal charges stemming from the scandal, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which regulates U.S. college sports, levied heavy sanctions against the school's football program.

Reuters


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