Sat 10:06pm: Lawyer says first Penn State abuse claim settled
HARRISBURG, Pa. – A man who was sexually abused by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has become the first to settle a civil claim against the university, the man’s attorney said today.
The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that the young man known as “Victim 5,” who testified at Sandusky’s criminal trial last year, settled for several million dollars.
Attorney Tom Kline confirmed the deal in an email to The Associated Press but did not immediately provide any other details.
The paper reported the deal is the first of 26 settlements expected soon among 31 young men who have pressed claims over the actions of Sandusky.
The Inquirer said it had interviewed Kline on Friday along with Michael Rozen, one of the lawyers brought in by Penn State to resolve the civil claims.
Rozen told the paper that Victim 5’s case was considered to be more serious than others because his abuse occurred in August 2001, months after top school officials were informed by a graduate assistant that he saw Sandusky assaulting a boy in a team shower.
“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 told the paper.
A spokesman for the university declined comment on the deal today, saying the school “continues to make progress on multiple settlements.”
Penn State announced a year ago – the day Sandusky was convicted of 45 criminal counts – that it hoped to compensate his victims fairly and quickly.
Sandusky, 69, is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence for child molestation and related offenses.
Penn State’s trustees authorized some $60 million in settlements last month.