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July 18, 2013

Penn State’s Sandusky settlements hit $60M so far

HARRISBURG — Penn State University has reached tentative settlements totaling about $60 million so far with men who claim to have been sexually abused by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a trustee said Thursday.

The trustee, Ted Brown, said he was unsure of how many claims have been settled and how many remain in negotiations.

“We approved settlements for approximately $60 million,” Brown told The Associated Press. He said that figure does not cover every claim made and that he expected trustees to be asked to approve more when tentative agreements are reached.

The trustees voted last Friday to authorize members of a committee to approve settlements on the university’s behalf, without detailing how many accusers have come forward with sex-abuse claims involving Sandusky, how many have settled and how much money might be involved.

A person familiar with the discussions told the AP on Thursday that about 25 of 31 outstanding claims were covered by the approximately $60 million in settlements the trustees approved. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to avoid giving information that the university has chosen not to reveal.

Brown said trustees were briefed on the dollar figure in private before the vote. School officials have said they will not publicly discuss specific figures until the deals have been made final, which could happen in the coming weeks.

The deals are limited to a range of dollar values that the board received in a closed-door session before their public meeting last Friday at a branch campus and another meeting held June 25.

Sandusky, 69, was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including violent attacks on boys inside school facilities, after a three-week trial last summer in which eight victims testified against him. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term and maintains he was wrongfully convicted. He is pursuing appeals.

 

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