A settlement has been reached in one of the civil actions filed in the wake of the Pennsylvania State University child sex-abuse scandal.
Harrisburg, Pa. attorneys Ben Andreozzi and Jeffrey Fritz announced that they have reached an accord with The Second Mile charitable organization that prevents the group from transferring or dissolving its assets prior to any further litigation.
The Second Mile was founded in 1977 by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was charged in a 40-count grand jury presentment early last month with molesting eight young boys he allegedly met at the home for disadvantaged youth.
The abuse allegedly occurred over a 15-year time period beginning in the 1990s.
Some of the young boys were allegedly molested on Penn State’s campus; others were allegedly abused elsewhere.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, The Second Mile has agreed to seek court approval before transferring any assets or closing entirely. The agreement was designed to protect any would-be plaintiffs’ claims against the organization.
Andreozzi and Fritz represent a person only named as “Victim 4” in the grand jury presentment. The victim is expected to testify during Sandusky’s upcoming preliminary hearing.
In a statement released by Andreozzi & Associates, the lawyers said the settlement was reached after negotiations with counsel for The Second Mile. That organization is being represented by attorneys with the firm Archer & Greiner.
One of the lawyers who works for Archer & Greiner is former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham.
The settlement was reached on Dec. 1, a week after the injunction was filed by Andreozzi and Fritz in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court.
“Our goal in filing this lawsuit was to protect the interests of our clients and other victims,” Andreozzi and Fritz said in a joint statement. “We were able to do so quickly with no interruption or disturbance to our clients, the Second Mile’s operations, and most importantly, the pending criminal proceedings.
“This settlement will preserve the assets of the Second Mile, and allow these victims to have a voice before any assets are transferred,” the statement continued. We will continue to take every proactive step available to protect the rights, privacy and interests of the victims and their families with the intention of paving a road to healing from these tragic events.”
The statement goes on to say that the lawyers intend to file a civil lawsuit “seeking damages from the organizations and individuals responsible for the sexual assaults upon our clients.”
Any civil action, however, likely wouldn’t be filed until after the criminal proceedings against Sandusky and the others are complete, according to the law firm’s website.
In addition to the molestation charges against Sandusky, Penn State’s former business administrator, Gary Schultz, and its athletic director, Tim Curley, face perjury and failure to report charges.
The sex-abuse scandal led to the firings of both Penn State’s president and longtime head football coach.
Sandusky’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13. Schultz and Curley are expected to face a judge on Dec. 16.