Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Judge grants request to unseal Penn State records

Jerry Sandusky speaks out entering the Centre County Courthouse

Jerry Sandusky enters the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. for a hearing May 2, 2016. Sandusky has filed a petition under Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act, seeking a new trial.
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Jerry Sandusky enters the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. for a hearing May 2, 2016. Sandusky has filed a petition under Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act, seeking a new trial.

A judge has granted a request to unseal documents in a Penn State case involving Jerry Sandusky settlements.

But not quite yet.

According to court documents, Philadelphia Judge Gary Glazer signed an order Thursday granting a motion from a list of media organizations unsealing the records regarding settlements made to child sex abuse claimants.

However, it will be 31 days before the records are added to the public record.

In May, the records became part of the proceedings between Penn State and Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association Insurance Co., the university’s liability insurer. In an order, Glazer said there were claims that went back to the 1970s regarding the assistant football coach who became the center of a national child sex abuse scandal.

A number of media outlets petitioned to have those records unsealed. Penn State has opposed that.

The university wants PMA to pay for settlements made with claimants. Penn State has paid out $93 million to 32 claimants. Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of 45 of 48 child sex abuse charges regarding 10 victims.

“Under the state and federal constitutions and common law, the public’s right of access to civil court records and the public’s continued concern regarding the unfortunate events underlying this coverage action weigh heavily in favor of unsealing this record,” Glazer wrote.

“The presumption of openness has not been rebutted by the Pennsylvania State University. The mediation privilege does not protect materials prepared for and submitted in these consolidated civil cases. The victims’ privacy can and will be protected by redaction of their names and other identifying information,” he wrote.

“We are pleased the court agreed to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the victims,” Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said Friday.

The media agencies involved include PA Media Group, The Associated Press, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Philadelphia Media Network, PBC and the Centre Daily Times, which was officially added to the case with Glazer’s order.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce

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