Tag Archives: Sandusky

Penn State Settlements Covered 1971 Sandusky Abuse Claim, via The New York Times:

Penn State’s legal settlements with Jerry Sandusky’s accusers cover alleged abuse dating to 1971, which was 40 years before his arrest, the university said Sunday, providing the first confirmation of the time frame of abuse claims that have led to big payouts.

The disclosure came as Penn State President Eric Barron decried newly revealed allegations that former football coach Joe Paterno was told in 1976 that Sandusky had sexually abused a child and that two assistant coaches witnessed either inappropriate or sexual contact in the late 1980s. Paterno, who died in 2012, had said the first time he had received a complaint against Sandusky was in 2001.

Barron said the accusations were unsubstantiated, and suggested that the university is being subjected unfairly to what he called rumor and innuendo.

Responding to questions about the president’s statement and claims against the school, university spokesman Lawrence Lokman told The Associated Press he could confirm that the earliest year of alleged abuse covered in Penn State’s settlements is 1971.

Sandusky graduated from Penn State in 1965 and returned as a full-time defensive coach in 1969.

The university has paid out more than $90 million to settle more than 30 civil claims involving Sandusky, now 72 and serving a lengthy prison sentence for the sexual abuse of 10 children. The trial involved only allegations dating as far back as the mid-1990s.

The settlements, including the one covering the 1971 allegation, were reached after Sandusky’s 2012 conviction. But few details have been provided on the payouts by either the school or lawyers for those who said Sandusky victimized them.

The allegations about Paterno and the assistant coaches were cited in a ruling last week by Philadelphia Judge Gary Glazer in litigation between an insurance company and Penn State over how much of the settlement costs the school must bear.

The insurers cited an allegation that a boy had told the longtime Penn State football coach in 1976 that he had been molested by Sandusky. The court document also cited statements, from those claiming they had been Sandusky’s victims, that two unidentified assistant coaches had said they witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and children in the late 1980s.

Barron wrote the university community Sunday that he was “appalled by the rumor, innuendo and rush to judgment” following Glazer’s disclosure of some allegations made against Paterno and some of his assistants.

Barron said those allegations, and others raised in some news reports in recent days, are “unsubstantiated and unsupported by any evidence other than a claim by an alleged victim.”

“Coach Paterno is not alive to refute them. His family has denied them,” Barron said.

Some of the press reports, he said, “should be difficult for any reasonable person to believe.”

Barron said few crimes are as heinous as child sex assault, and the university is committed to prevention, treatment and education.

But he said he had “had enough of the continued trial of the institution in various media.”

Sue Paterno, who has defended her husband’s legacy and said the family had no knowledge of new claims, also called for an end to what she called “this endless process of character assassination by accusation.”

Lokman declined to answer questions about what steps the university took to verify abuse claims during the settlement process, or about what it had done to investigate the new allegations that Paterno and members of his coaching staff knew about Sandusky’s abuse decades before his 2011 arrest.

The university hired settlement experts Kenneth Feinberg and Michael Rozen to handle the claims. Feinberg declined comment. Rozen did not respond to an email from the AP.

In 2001, Paterno told high-ranking university officials one of his assistant coaches reported seeing Sandusky acting inappropriately with a child in a team shower. In 2011, Paterno told a grand jury he did not know of any other incidents involving Sandusky, who retired from Penn State in 1999.

Paterno was fired following Sandusky’s November 2011 arrest and died of lung cancer in January 2012. He was not charged with any crime, and his family is pursuing a lawsuit against the NCAA for commercial disparagement.

Three university officials, including former President Graham Spanier, await trial on criminal charges for their handling of the Sandusky scandal.

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Associated Press writer Mark Scolforo contributed to this story.

Penn State to compensate Sandusky victims

Penn State Will Pay Nearly $60 million to 26 Sandusky Victims, via Huffington Post:

HARRISBURG, Pa. — HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Penn State said Monday it is paying $59.7 million to 26 young men over claims of child sexual abuse at the hands of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The university said it had concluded negotiations that have lasted about a year.

The school said 23 deals are fully signed and three are agreements in principle. The school faces six other claims, and the university says it believes some do not have merit while others may produce settlements.

Penn State said the day Sandusky was convicted in June 2012 of 45 criminal counts that it was determined to compensate his victims.

The settlements have been unfolding since mid-August, when attorneys for the accusers began to disclose them. Penn State followed a policy in which it has not been confirming them, waiting instead to announce deals at once.

Penn State has spent more than $50 million on other costs related to the Sandusky scandal, including lawyers’ fees, public relations expenses, and adoption of new policies and procedures related to children and sexual abuse complaints.

Sandusky, 69, has been pursuing appeals while he serves a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.

Three former Penn State administrators await trial in Harrisburg on charges they engaged in a criminal cover-up of the Sandusky scandal. Former president Graham Spanier, retired vice president Gary Schultz and retired athletic director Tim Curley deny the allegations, and a trial date has not been scheduled.

Eight young men testified against Sandusky, describing a range of abuse they said went from grooming and manipulation to fondling, oral sex and anal rape when they were boys.

Sandusky did not testify at his trial but has long asserted his innocence. He has acknowledged he showered with boys but insisted he never molested them.

The abuse scandal rocked Penn State, bringing down football coach Joe Paterno and leading college sports’ governing body, the NCAA, to levy unprecedented sanctions against the university’s football program.

Famous sports figure shares his story of childhood sexual abuse

There are a countless number of sexual assault myths, which we, at Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services, work towards eliminating every day.  A few of the myths we often hear are “it doesn’t happen to boys, or men,” and “that person doesn’t ‘look’ like a rapist, ” or “s/he is so well-known in this community; therefore, s/he couldn’t be a child molester.”  (If you’re thinking, “wait!  You forgot about this myth, and that myth…!”  Don’t worry, we will address more myths in a future entries).

In a recent article from The Chicago Tribune, Boxing legend, Sugar Ray Leonard, tells his story of being sexually abused when he was younger by his coaches.  This article sheds light on the fact that boys and men can be victims of sexual assault, and also, that coaches (teachers, doctors, pastors, family members, etc, etc, etc) can be the perpetrators.  Leonard courageously stated “I’m going to be the poster child. I don’t care,” to an applause filled audience at Penn State.

Thank you, Sugar Ray Leonard!  You are an inspiration to so many.

 

From The Chicago Tribune:

Sugar Ray Leonard:  I was a child sex abuse victim

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard recounted his own sexual abuse by coaches he trusted, telling a Penn State audience Monday he hoped to encourage other victims to report abuse to police.

Leonard spoke at a sold-out conference on child sex abuse hosted by Penn State weeks after former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to prison for 30 to 60 years for sexually assaulting 10 boys he befriended through his charity for at-risk youth.

Leonard, 56, who retired after winning world boxing titles in five different weight classes, said as a youth he was sexually assaulted by men he trusted as his boxing coaches.

“Trust is a very sacred thing, especially for young people, kids, or a young boxer, so I trusted these people, these individuals who impacted my life,” said Leonard said. “They told me everything I wanted to hear, and more.”

The former champion said he used drugs and alcohol to “numb” his shame of being a victim of child sexual abuse.

“I beat myself up for years,” said Leonard as the two-day conference got underway with Hurricane Sandy quickly approaching Pennsylvania.

Now Leonard said he wants to step into the spotlight as a leader in the fight against child sex abuse in the hopes it will help other victims find the courage to report crimes to police.

“I’m going to be the poster child. I don’t care,” Leonard said to applause.

“I will be that leader. I will stand right there and say, ‘Yes, something must be done now. Not later, now,’” Leonard said.

Without mentioning Sandusky by name, Penn State President Rodney Erickson told the audience in opening remarks that he hoped the silver lining of the abuse scandal is that more victims will come forward rather than keep the secret to themselves.

“I hope that even more survivors will take their first steps towards recovery with the confidence that their family, friends and community will believe and support them,” Erickson said.

Erickson took office after Penn State’s president, Graham Spanier, and legendary football coach Joe Paterno, who has since died, were fired in the wake of Sandusky’s arrest last November. An independent report by former FBI chief Louis Freeh concluded that four former university officials – Spanier, Paterno, vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley – were alerted to Sandusky’s abuse but did nothing to stop it or report it to authorities.

Since Sandusky’s sentencing, The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, or RAINN, says the volume of calls to its sexual assault hotline has increased 47 percent.

Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/chi-sugar-ray-leonard-child-sex-abuse-victim-20121029,0,3918081.story

 

Jerry Sandusky Sentenced 30 – 60 Years in Prison

Today, October 9, 2012, Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State assistant football coach, was sentenced 30 – 60 years in prison on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.  “Child sexual abuse is the term used to describe sexual violence against children, particularly when it is ongoing and repetitive.  Sexual violence against children includes any sexual activity perpetrated against a child by threat, force, intimidation, or manipulation.  The sexual violence may be perpetrated by a family member or another person known to the child, by a casual acquaintance, by a stranger, or by other children who are older or otherwise more powerful.” (Help In Healing, Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault).

There will be a lot of media coverage today about the Sandusky case.  If you find yourself being triggered by this information, please practice self-care, and you can always call one of our advocates if you need to talk:  1-800-871-7741.  Also, if you, or someone you know is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, never, ever forget – it was not your fault.

 

From The New York Times:

Sandusky Gets 30 t0 60 Years for Sexual Abuse

BELLEFONTE, Pa. —   Jerry Sandusky stood in court Tuesday in his current uniform, the bright red jumpsuit of the Centre County jail. No longer was he in his Penn State coaching gear, nor in the suit and tie he wore at his trial in June. He was, in a sense, as powerless before his victims as they had once been before him. So he sat, forced to listen.

“We both know exactly what happened,” said one of three victims who stood and spoke.

Another said: “I am troubled with flashbacks of his naked body, something that will never be erased from my memory. Jerry has harmed children, of which I am one of them.”

“There is no punishment sufficient for you,” the mother of another victim wrote in a statement read by the lead prosecutor.

Another victim wrote: “There is no remorse. There is no acknowledgment of regret, only evil.”

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal does not have many chapters left. The former football coach Joe Paterno is dead, his name tainted by a formal investigative finding that he failed to respond to warnings of Mr. Sandusky’s crimes, even chose to cover them up. The university’s president, Graham B. Spanier, has been dismissed. The university’s football program has been sanctioned. The victims are seeking money, and Penn State has acknowledged it will have to pay.

But there was the matter of setting Mr. Sandusky’s term in prison for 45 counts of abuse, and Judge John M. Cleland addressed that business with emphatic scorn. He sentenced Mr. Sandusky to 30 to 60 years.

“I’m not going to sentence you to centuries,” Judge Cleland said to Sandusky. “It makes no sense for a 68-year-old man. This sentence will put you in prison for the rest of your life.”

Judge Cleland added that the case, which shook Penn State and called into question the role of major college sports on campus, was, in the end, “a story of betrayal.”

“You abused the trust of those who trusted you,” he said.

Mr. Sandusky entered the courtroom just before 9 a.m., looking thinner than he had at his trial. He took his seat and turned, smiled and waved to his wife, Dottie. He soon gave a rambling, 15-minute statement in court, in which he professed his innocence, as he had in a recorded statement broadcast on a Penn State radio station Monday night.

“I did not do these alleged disgusting acts,” he said Tuesday.

Mr. Sandusky was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys, all from disadvantaged homes. Mr. Sandusky used his connections to the Penn State football program, as well as his own charity for disadvantaged youths, the Second Mile, to identify potential victims, get close to them and then sexually violate them.

Mr. Sandusky’s remarks Tuesday at times resembled a pregame motivational speech, perhaps reflecting his years as a widely admired defensive assistant for Mr. Paterno. Casting himself in the role of an underdog fighting against a conspiracy to find him guilty, Mr. Sandusky mentioned that “Seabiscuit” was one of his favorite movies. He read aloud a letter from a boy who described Mr. Sandusky as a savior for his life and called him Touchdown Jerry. And he emphasized how he brought joy to children through activities like water balloon fights.

He also painted a picture of his life in prison. He used his small cell, with four concrete-block walls, as a metaphor. On his 46th wedding anniversary, he said, he rolled over in bed expecting his wife to be there. Instead, he literally hit the wall.

He became emotional when discussing how he had not been able to see his family. And when he declared that he and his family would continue to smile despite his conviction and sentencing “because that’s who we are,” his voice caught.

Others were not so moved.

“His statement today was a masterpiece in banal self-delusion, completely untethered from reality and without any acceptance of responsibility,” said Joseph E. McGettigan III, the lead prosecutor. “It was entirely self-focused, as if he, him, were the victim. It was, in short, ridiculous.”

Judge Cleland deemed Mr. Sandusky’s statement “unbelievable.”

Mr. Sandusky’s crimes have exacted a tremendous toll on Penn State. Within days after the indictment of Mr. Sandusky was made public in November 2011, Mr. Paterno, the football team’s longtime head coach and a patriarchal figure at the university, was fired. He had been alerted to at least one of Mr. Sandusky’s attacks on a boy. Two and a half months later, Mr. Paterno died of cancer at 85.

Meanwhile, the Penn State community found itself confronting the idea that it had placed the interests of its football team above concern for children at risk.

A seven-month investigation conducted by Louis J. Freeh, a former director of the F.B.I., determined that Penn State’s leaders — most prominently Mr. Spanier, Mr. Paterno, the former university vice president Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley — had disregarded the welfare of Sandusky’s victims.

Four of Sandusky’s victims are suing the university, as is Mike McQueary, a former assistant who testified to seeing what he thought was Mr. Sandusky raping a boy in a shower on Penn State’s campus in 2001. Mr. McQueary claims the university has mistreated him since Mr. Sandusky’s actions became public.

Mr. Curley, who is on leave, and Mr. Schultz, a former senior vice president, are scheduled to stand trial in January on charges of perjury and failing to report child sexual abuse, relating to the attack Mr. McQueary reported in 2001.

Mr. Sandusky’s lawyers said they would appeal his case, arguing most strenuously that they were not given enough time to prepare his defense before the trial.

One of them was asked Tuesday if Mr. Sandusky could have pleaded guilty for a lesser sentence.

“Jerry Sandusky has always maintained his innocence,” the lawyer Joseph Amendola said. “There could have been discussions, there might have been some deal that could have been worked out, but Jerry Sandusky wanted none of it.”

Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/sports/ncaafootball/penn-state-sandusky-is-sentenced-in-sex-abuse-case.html?_r=0#