Penn State Reaches First Sandusky Victim Settlement

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 18 2013 7:53 AM

Penn State Reaches First Multi-Million Dollar Settlement With Jerry Sandusky Victim

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Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky walks into the Centre County Courthouse before being sentenced in his child sex abuse case on October 9, 2012 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Pennsylvania State University agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement with a 25-year-old man who testified that he was sexually abused by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. It marks the first of 26 claims expected to be settled in the case, “with the others expected early this week,” according to the paper. The man was known as Victim 5 in court, where he claimed he was sexually abused by Sandusky in August 2001.

A lawyer for the victim refused to specify the dollar amount of the settlement but did say his client expects to receive the money within a month. The university has approved to spend $60 million on settlements. The lawyer also tells the Associated Press that terms of the agreement will make it easier for Penn State to recover the settlement money from others, such as the charity that Sandusky founded or the university's insurers. "My client is relieved," the victim’s lawyer tells Reuters. "He was dragged into this as someone who had a knock on the door from the state police. He didn't seek this out."

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The case involving Victim 5 was seen as one of the most serious for Penn State because it provided a clear example of how the university could have prevented a sexual assault. The assault took place in August 2001, a mere six months after a graduate assistant had told university officials he saw Sandusky rape a boy in the shower. "‘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,” says a lawyer hired by the university to help reach the settlements. At least three of Sandusky’s victims were abused after 2001, notes CNN. Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison after he was convicted on 45 counts of abusing 10 boys.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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