Jerry Sandusky Scandal: Penn State Agrees to Multimillion-Dollar Settlement With First Sexual Assault Victim
A 25-year-old man who was sexually abused by former Penn State assistant football coach has agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement with the university, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting.
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The Sandusky scandal has resulted in 26 claims against the school and led to the firing of several Penn State officials, including legendary coach Joe Paterno.
Sandusky assaulted the man, known as Victim 5 in court proceedings, in August, 2001, the Inquirer reported. That was six months after then-graduate assistant Michael McQueary reported to Paterno and school officials that he witnessed Sandusky rape a boy in a locker room shower on campus.
The newspaper added that the settlement agreement with Victim 5 is pivotal in coming to terms with the other claim victims, said Michael K. Rosen, a Penn State-hired attorney who will help the school settle the cases. The fact that the assault took place just months after McQueary's report and that it happened on campus elevated its importance among the 26 claims.
"The pivotal issue from the university's perspective in dealing with the victims is where the incident occurred and when it occurred proximate to the 2001 shower incident," Rozen said. " 'Number 5' is probably the singular one of the claims that has come to the university's attention where it absolutely, positively could have been stopped."
The Inquirer said that Penn State has allocated $60 million in payouts for the victims. The newspaper added that Rozen and Philadelphia lawyer Thomas Kline, who represents Victim 5, declined to specify the amount of the settlement, but Rozen said it was one of the highest negotiated because of its circumstances.
Rozen told the newspaper that Victim 5's cases sits atop the claims, but two or three other cases could have equal importance.
The victim met Sandusky through the coach's Second Mile charity in the mid-1990s when he was 7 or 8 years old. The boy was 12 or 13 when Sandusky sexually assaulted him in the shower, the newspaper reported of Victim 5's testimony last year during Sandusky's trial.