Nearly two years after news of the Penn State child molestation scandal broke, the university has agreed to pay a settlement of almost $60 million to 26 victims that were sexually assaulted by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Thirty two men claimed to have been sexually abused by Sandusky, but Penn State dismissed six of the claims, saying they were “without merit.”
“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 that was posted to Penn State’s website. “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.”
According to Penn State’s website, the settlement money won’t be funded by student tuition or taxpayer funds. The university believes that several liability insurance policies will cover the settlement.
Sandusky was convicted in June 2012 on 45 criminal counts of abuse. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison, which should keep the 69-year-old former coach behind bars for the rest of his life. Sandusky, who has always maintained his innocence, applied for a retrial earlier this month and was denied.
The NCAA levied serious sanctions upon Penn State for lack of university control in the sex abuse scandal. Joe Paterno, PSU’s late legendary coach, was said to have known about Sandusky abusing boys in the showers at the university, but never turned it in. This led to Paterno’s firing shortly after the scandal broke.
Penn State lost 40 football scholarships, was fined $60 million and received a postseason ban as part of the sanctions. The NCAA decided to restore the football scholarships this past September. Penn State will get to add in 5 scholarships next year and will add 5 more scholarships each year until they reach the normal amount.
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