One of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse victims, known only as victim 5, reached a settlement with Penn State and will receive several million dollars in compensation. The deal was finalized on Friday. The attorney for the victim, Tom Kline, wouldn’t reveal any details of the confidential agreement, but did mention that his client is relieved that this portion of the case is over.
Victim 5 is now 25 years old. His testimony was crucial in convicting the former Penn State assistant football coach of sexual abuse. Jerry Sandusky, 69, was convicted in June of last year of 45 counts of sexual abuse, ranging from corruption of a minor to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, after it was determined that he had molested 10 boys over a period of 15 years. Sandusky is now serving 30 to 60 years in prison. Prosecutors claimed that Sandusky used his charity for at risk youths, The Second Mile, to entice his victims. Supposedly Sandusky promised them tickets to football games and the opportunity to meet their favorite players.
The Sandusky Trial and the scandal surrounding it led to the firing of Sandusky’s long time friend, and Penn State legend, Joe Paterno, who was also the university’s head football coach. Paterno succumbed to lung cancer last year. President Graham Spanier also lost his position as head of the university (although he remains a tenured professor) after an internal investigation revealed that high ranking Penn State officials had been aware of reports alleging Sandusky’s abuse of young boys, but ignored them.
Victim 5 testified at the trial that Sandusky sexually assaulted him in a shower at the Penn State Campus when he was 12 or 13. According to one of Penn State’s lawyers, Michael K. Rozen, Victim 5’s case is considered among the most critical because it happened after a report was made to school officials claiming that Sandusky had been seen sexually assaulting another boy in a university shower room.
Penn State has sent aside $60 million to compensate victims who have decided to pursue civil cases. Overall 26 civil suits have been filed against the university.
Recently a judge ruled that former Penn State president, Graham Spanier, former athletic director, Tim Curley, and former Senior Vice President, Gary Schultz, will face trial to answer charges which will include obstruction of justice. The prosecutor in that case alleges that all three knew about prior allegations against Sandusky that were made in 1998 and again in 2001, but that they lied about it when questioned by a grand jury several years later.
All three men have pleaded not guilty. Their respective attorneys claim that there is no evidence of a conspiracy to conceal Sandusky’s crimes, but prosecutor, Bruce Beemer, has a different perspective. “There was a conspiracy of silence. They are not relieved of criminal responsibility because their conspiracy worked for 10 years.”
Sandusky continues to maintain that he is innocent of all the allegations that have been made against him. He is currently appealing his conviction.
By Karen Walcott