Jerry Sandusky victims could soon be getting paid for the anguish the convicted child molester inflicted on them. Mediators appointed by Penn State have begun settlement discussions with at least 20 men who accused Sandusky of sexual abuse, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The accusers involved in the talks include eight who were named in the state prosecutors’ case against Sandusky, four who filed lawsuits or alleged molestation via the media, and at least eight others who have not made their allegations public.
“All of these claims will be very different from one another factually and potentially legally,” negotiator Michael K. Rozen told the Inquirer. “We’re having lots of discussions so far about how to go about evaluating them.”
Rozen and law partner Kenneth R. Feinberg handled the compensation for the Sept. 11 victims fund and victims of the 2010 BP Gulf oil spill, and Penn State hired them to handle negotiations for settlements with Sandusky’s alleged victims.
“Right now, we’re trying to think through how we transparently – both to the claimants and the university – put the claims into some sort of hierarchy,” Rozen said. “Because there’s so much attention being paid to this, we don’t think we can have 20 separate negotiations and 20 separate resolutions.”
No one has publicly provided an estimate of how much the university may be willing to pay in settlements to Sandusky’s victims.
At 68, the sentence by judge John Cleland means Sandusky will likely die in prison, which is what many of the jurors said he deserved for manipulating youths he preyed on in his charity organization, Second Mile.
Legendary coach Joe Paterno was fired in the aftermath of Sandusky’s arrest and later died from complications of cancer.
Penn State president Rodney Erickson issued a statement that read, in part: “While today’s sentence cannot erase what has happened, hopefully it can provide comfort to those effected by those horrible events.”
Sandusky maintains his innocence and plans to appeal, a process his lawyer, Joe Amedola, has said will probably begin in the coming weeks.