HARRISBURG, Pa. — A man who testified he was fondled by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is the first to settle a civil claim against the university, the man’s attorney said Saturday.
The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that the young man known as “Victim 5,” who took the stand at Sandusky’s criminal trial and sentencing last year, settled for several million dollars.
Attorney Tom Kline confirmed the deal to The Associated Press, but would not specify the dollar amount. He said the parties signed off on the agreement Friday.
He said his 25-year-old client was relieved and expected to receive the money within a month. The man identified himself for his testimony, but AP generally does not identify people who are victims of sex crimes.
The paper reported the deal is the first of 26 settlements expected soon among 31 young men who have pressed claims.
Kline told the AP that as part of the agreement, his client assigned his claim to Penn State, giving the university a better chance to recover the money from other parties, such as The Second Mile, a charity for at-risk youth Sandusky founded.
University officials “left themselves a wide open road to recover a significant amount of this money back from their insurers and Second Mile. And we support that,” Kline said.
Michael Rozen, one of the lawyers brought in by Penn State to resolve the civil claims, told the paper that Victim 5’s case was considered among the more serious because the abuse occurred in August 2001, months after top school officials were informed by a graduate assistant that he saw Sandusky assaulting a boy in a team shower.
“The pivotal issue from the university’s perspective in dealing with the victims is where the incident occurred and when it occurred proximate to the 2001 shower incident,” Rozen told the paper.