In the wake of former football coach Jerry Sandusky’s conviction on forty-five counts of sexual abuse, Pennsylvania State University, Sandusky’s former employer, issued an invitation to Sandusky’s victims to discuss settling their civil lawsuits against the school. Observers have suggested that the school wants to resolve any and all civil claims arising from the Sandusky case as quickly as possible. Several victims have already filed lawsuits against the university, alleging negligence for failing to follow up on reports and allegations of abuse years ago, and for allegedly covering up the abuse.
The Sandusky case exploded on the national stage in November 2011, when an investigation of Sandusky and other Penn State officials went public. Prosecutors accused Sandusky of sexually abusing eight boys beginning in 1994 and continuing until at least 2009. Several administrators resigned, and the university fired several officials, including its head football coach, Joe Paterno, over the allegations. The accusations centered around a charity, The Second Mile, that Sandusky started to help troubled youth, but that prosecutors said he used it to find victims. All of the alleged victims said that they met Sandusky through the charity.
Sandusky’s trial on forty-nine counts of sexual abuse began on June 11, 2012. The prosecution called a number of the alleged victims as witnesses. The defense convinced the court to drop one of the counts of sexual abuse, but the jury convicted Sandusky of forty-five of the remaining charges on June 22.