A lawyer for one of Jerry Sandusky's abuse victims said Monday he doesn't think the victims are paying that much attention to the NCAA sanctions imposed on Penn State and its football program.
Attorney Michael Boni of Bala Cynwyd, who represents Victim 1, was unable to get in touch with his client Monday. But he said the eight victims who testified in Sandusky's trial last month are "focused on moving on."
"I can't predict what it means," Boni said.
Each victim, he said, probably feels differently about the sanctions.
Some of the victims who testified in the June trial of the retired football coach said they remain Penn State football fans, but Boni suggested his client was not one of them.
He said his client, a recent high school graduate, was probably the most athletic of the victims, having been a wrestler and participant in track.
Boni said he was glad to see Penn State will set aside a $60 million endowment over a five-year period to be earmarked for organizations that protect children from abuse.
He said there are many such organizations that could use the money, including a Philadelphia group called the Support Center for Child Advocates.
"There's a lot of organizations where the money could go," he said.
Boni is one of several attorneys representing victims who testified against Sandusky.
At least one civil lawsuit has been filed, but most of the attorneys are still waiting for the conclusion of the trials involving Sandusky, Athletic Director Tim Curley, who remains on leave, and retired university Vice President of Finance Gary Schultz.
Blair County District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio was also interested in what occurred Monday when sanctions were announced by the NCAA.
He said he predicted tough sanctions last fall when the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office brought the charges against Sandusky, Curley and Schultz.
Consiglio said he remains concerned that while the Sandusky case has cast the spotlight on child abuse, the message that child abuse is a major issue - even in Blair County - is not getting through.
He said child abuse cases are tough to prosecute. He noted that in a case tried last week in Blair County, the jury found the defendant not guilty of child rape and statutory sexual assault but guilty of indecent assault.
Consiglio intends to ask for a mandatory 25-year sentence for Ray Hale, the man convicted of child abuse last week, because of his multiple prior offenses. He added, however, that he doesn't believe jurors are aware of how big the problem of child abuse is locally.
Jurors tend not to believe victims, often because they waited to report the abuse or they can't remember the exact day or time the abuse occurred, he said.
Consiglio said his office is forced in many cases to come to plea agreements despite the abuse.
"Jurors have no education [about] what's going on and how bad this [abuse] really is," he said.
Even though many cases end in plea agreements, Consiglio said, "We try to make sure they [the abusers] get something."
Mirror Staff Writer Phil Ray is at 946-7468.