HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Seven men, including Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son and a Sandusky victim key to longtime coach Joe Paterno’s firing, have finalized deals with Penn State over claims of abuse by the school’s former assistant football coach, their lawyer says.
Settlements were reached by Matt Sandusky, as well as the young man known as “Victim 2” in court records and three other victims who testified last summer against Jerry Sandusky at his criminal trial, Philadelphia attorney Matt Casey said Friday.
Matt Sandusky had been expected to be a defense witness for his father until the trial, when he told investigators that he also had been abused by Jerry Sandusky. He has since petitioned for a legal name change for himself and his family.
“Victim 2” has said he was the boy then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary testified he saw being attacked by Jerry Sandusky in a team shower in 2001. McQueary notified Paterno and school officials at the time, but police were never called, an omission that eventually led to Paterno’s firing.
Casey did not disclose the terms of the settlements but said they took shape some time ago and were completed a week ago, followed by passing paperwork back and forth to memorialize them.
“To say they’re relieved, I think, is a fair statement,” Casey said. “But it’s also accurate to say that while we’ve closed this chapter, there’s a whole lot of this that’s necessarily inadequate.”
The university has not announced the deals.
Nearly a week ago, a lawyer disclosed the first settlement among the 31 lawsuits filed against the school amid the Sandusky scandal. Earlier this week, a lawyer brought in by Penn State to facilitate negotiations said he expected 24 more cases to settle in the near future.
A Penn State spokesman said Friday only that settlement talks continued to progress. He declined to comment further.
The school has spent nearly $50 million on the Sandusky scandal, not including any payments to the victims and accusers.
Other lawyers involved in settlement talks said Friday they were still working with the university but none had a signed, final agreement.
Sandusky spent three decades at Penn State under Paterno. A 1998 complaint about Sandusky showering with a boy – one of those who testified against him – was investigated by university police but no charges were filed. McQueary witnessed a different incident involving “Victim 2” in the team shower in 2001.
The response of university leaders, including Paterno, was heavily criticized in a report commissioned by the school last year. The NCAA penalized the school for its response to complaints about Sandusky and imposed a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, a loss of scholarships and the elimination of 112 Paterno-era wins.
Paterno died in January 2012. Criminal charges for an alleged cover-up are pending against three others: former president Graham Spanier, retired vice president Gary Schultz and retired athletic director Tim Curley. All three deny the allegations.
Sandusky, 69, was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and is serving a decades-long prison sentence. He maintains he is innocent, and an appeals hearing is scheduled for next month in Dallas, Pa.
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