Penn State settles 25 lawsuits in Jerry Sandusky abuse case

Aug. 27, 2013 at 6:58 AM
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Penn State University settled lawsuits with 25 men who claimed they were abused by former football coach Jerry Sandusky, a lawyer for the university said.

The university's attorney said 31 lawsuits were filed and the school settled Monday with nearly all of the individuals, including the coach's adopted son, Matt Sandusky who testified at the older Sandusky's sex abuse trial in June 2012, ABC News reported.

Settlement deals, estimated to be in the millions, also were reached with more than a dozen other victims who did not come forward with their allegations during Sandusky's trial.

Matt Sandusky defended his adopted father against sex abuse claims until midway through the trial, when he told the prosecution he also was abused and willing to testify. He joined 30 others who sued the university, arguing Penn State failed to stop Sandusky's behavior and put other children at risk.

Jerry Sandusky was the longtime defensive coordinator at Penn State and ran the Second Mile, a charity for underprivileged children. Prosecutors said Sandusky used the charity to find and groom victims of his sex abuse.

In June 2012, he was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

"Despite the settlements, my life will never feel 'back to normal,'" the man known as Victim 7 said in a statement released by his attorneys. "If I had the power to go back in time and not ever meet Jerry Sandusky, I wouldn't hesitate."

New York-based attorney Michael Rozen, hired by the university to help in negotiations, and the attorneys representing the victims declined to discuss the exact dollar amounts in the settlements.

Rozen told ABC News the university tried to complete all of the negotiations at the same time. The accusers generally were divided into three groups based on the time period in which they said they were abused. The settlements reflected the university's responsibility in each of those periods.

"The range of resolution dollars varied on those factors," Rozen said. "Every lawyer representing a claimant was well aware of those different stratifications and accepted there are real differences between and among those claimants."

Of the six claims against Penn State, Rozen told ABC News three have not presented enough credible evidence to suggest Sandusky abused them, one is near to being settled, one was being litigated in federal court and one is close to being filed in federal court.

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