Penn State Wants Sandusky Charity to Help Pay Abuse Victims
Even though a jury convicted Jerry Sandusky more than four years ago, Penn State University's sexual abuse scandal has remained in the news. Recently unsealed testimony claimed former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno learned of the abuse in the 1970s, among other tidbits about who knew what when.
The latest development: Penn State has asked that the insurers of Sandusky's former charity, The Second Mile—which asked to shut down in January and received the judge's OK in March—help foot the victims' settlement costs, according to the Centre Daily Times. In the court document filed earlier this month, Penn State also claimed the charity could have prevented the abuse.
"The Second Mile was in a position to prevent and stop Sandusky from meeting, grooming and attacking children who had been entrusted to the care of The Second Mile, but negligently failed to do so," the university's attorney wrote, according to the newspaper.
From 1990 to 2011, the university hosted various charity events on its campus, and The Second Mile agreed to not hold the university responsible for legal claims tied to those events, according to CBS 21.
Thus far, the school has divvied up about $93 million among 32 victims with the charity only contributing to one settlement, according to the Centre Daily Times.
"Penn State is entitled to contribution from The Second Mile and its insurers for a fair share [of the settlement money]," the attorney wrote in the filing.
In addition, both the state solicitor and auditor generals have been investigating the organization since May, but it is not yet clear what will come of the investigations.
"We conferred with Auditor General [Eugene] DePasquale," Solicitor General Bruce Castor said. "I’ve assigned two investigators to work on the case and report back to me in early August. Then I will decide if there is enough to move forward criminally, do something jointly, or step back and let the auditor general’s people see what they turn up."
The charity has $750,000 in remaining assets, according to Centre Daily Times. After the judge's approval, the charity transferred those assets to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, which vowed to hold them in escrow until it found a use in line with the former charity's mission. The agreement also included a 120-day window for any final claims, and it appears Penn State's request made that deadline.
Amanda L. Cole is the editor-in-chief of NonProfit PRO. She was formerly editor-in-chief of special projects for NonProfit PRO's sister publication, Promo Marketing. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.