US college to pay child sex abuse victims $74 million

US college to pay child sex abuse victims $74 million
Child sex offender, American football coach Jerry Sandusky.

NEW YORK CITY - Pennsylvania State University announced Monday a payout of US$60 million (S$74 million) for 26 victims abused by convicted child sex offender, American football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The settlement comes just over a year after former Penn State American football coach Sandusky was jailed for 30 to 60 years on 45 counts of child sex abuse.

Now aged 69, Sandusky is expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars, after being found guilty in court of molesting 10 children between 1994 and 2008.

Penn State University said 32 alleged victims had come forward demanding compensation, but that six had their claims rejected.

It announced on its website that it had agreed to pay a total of $59.7 million to the other 26.

"We hope this is another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr. Sandusky and another step forward for Penn State," said the university's president, Rodney Erickson.

"We cannot undo what has been done, but we can and must do everything possible to learn from this and ensure it never happens again at Penn State."

Sandusky, who coached one of America's most illustrious college football teams, recruited his young victims through a charity he founded for troubled youths.

Eight victims testified in person, offering graphic testimony about his actions on campus, in hotel rooms and at his home.

Another coach told the court he saw Sandusky rape a boy in the showers at Penn State.

The case scandalized the United States and tarnished the legacy of the university.

It led to the sacking of Penn State's legendary head coach Joe Paterno, a national icon, just weeks before his unexpected death from lung cancer in January 2012 at the age of 85.

He was fired for failing to notify authorities when he was told Sandusky had been seen molesting a boy in the shower. The university's president, Graham Spanier, was also sacked.

Two other Penn State officials, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, also face trial for allegedly covering up Sandusky's crimes.

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