Penn State has settled with 25 men claiming they were abused by convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky, a lawyer for the university said Tuesday.
Most of the men who testified against the former assistant football coach at his trial last summer are settling, said lawyer Michael Rozen, of the New York firm Feinberg Rozen that’s been retained to resolve the claims. Rozen said the claims were vetted and the university went to “great lengths to verify and corroborate the stories” told by the men.
“All of them, from the most severe to the least, told very similar stories about the abuse they suffered at the hands of Mr. Sandusky,” Rozen said.
Penn State has authorized $60 million for the settlements.
Of the remaining six claimants Rozen said he’d expect one of the remaining six to settle, and one may file a lawsuit.
Another claimant already has filed a lawsuit in federal court, Rozen said. In the grand jury presentment, that young man was known as Victim 6 and was involved in a shower incident with Sandusky in 1998 that was investigated but not prosecuted.
The last three claimants have not provided any “credible evidence” to support their claims, Rozen said.
The university is keeping the individual settlement amounts confidential.
“It’s fair to assume that whatever amounts are being paid are in relation to the severity to the allegation that could be corroborated,” Rozen said.
Among the claimants who settled were the young men known from the Sandusky case as Victims 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9. All but Victim 5 was represented by a legal team that included local lawyers Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici.
Shubin and Andronici also represent Matt Sandusky, one of the adopted sons of the former coach.
Victim 5, who was represented by Philadelphia lawyer Thomas Kline, settled his claims earlier this month.
Rozen said the claimants’ allegations ranged from the less severe, such as the grooming behavior in which Sandusky “would rough house with some of the boys and shower with them” to more severe sexual allegations, such as those brought up through testimony at trial.
The authorized $60 million in payouts represents one of the largest chunks of the financial cost of the Sandusky scandal to the university. In addition to that, Penn State has spent nearly $48 million in legal and consulting fees and will pay the NCAA a $60 million fine over five years.
That would bring the cost to $168 million.