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Penn State sex abuse scandal: Victims of football coach Jerry Sandusky to receive $60m pay-off

Twenty six victims of the former assistant football coach have reached at settlement with the university

The 26 victims of sexual abuse at the hands of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will receive a $58.7m pay off from Penn State University, it was announced on Monday.

In a statement, the university said they hoped it would be a "big step forward in the healing process" for the boys who were sexually abused by Sandusky while he was an assistant football coach at the university and after he had retired.

Twenty-three settlements are fully signed and the other three are agreed in principal, they added.

“We hope this is another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr Sandusky, and another step forward for Penn State,” university president Rodney Erickson said in a statement.

“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,” he added.

The settlement comes on top of the $50 million already spent on fines, legal bills and other costs linked to the scandal that shook Penn State when a grand jury indicted Sandusky in November 2011.

Sandusky will spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced to between 30 and 60 years for abusing ten boys over a fifteen year period. His request for a new trial was rejected earlier this month.

News of the scandal rocked the university and led to the removal of chief football coach, Joe Paterno, who was accused of trying to protect Sandusky, along with Graham Spanier, the university president.

The statement added that settlement amounts would not be funded by student tuition, taxpayer funds or donations. It said: "The University maintains various liability insurance policies, which the University believes cover the settlements and defense of claims brought against Penn State and its officers, employees and trustees."