A current trustee at Penn State said in an email to The Chronicle of Higher Education that he is losing sympathy for the "so-called victims" of sexual abuse by former Nittany Lions assistant Jerry Sandusky.
The email was sent to The Chronicle over the weekend and published Thursday as part of a look at the scandal's continuing aftermath.
Last week, former Penn State president Graham Spanier was found guilty of one count of child endangerment over his handling of a child sex abuse complaint against Sandusky.
The next day, trustee Albert L. Lord emailed The Chronicle:
"Running out of sympathy for 35 yr old, so-called victims with 7 digit net worth," Lord wrote. "Do not understand why they were so prominent in trial. As you learned, Graham Spanier never knew Sandusky abused anyone."
Penn State reportedly has paid out settlements of $90 million-plus to Sandusky victims.
Lord is a former chief executive at Sallie Mae who, according to The Chronicle, was contacted by Spanier years ago as the ex-PSU president contemplated suing Louis Freeh. Freeh's investigation into Joe Paterno concluded that he and three others hushed up the allegations against Sandusky for fear of bad publicity.
Lord reportedly was elected to the Penn State Board of Trustees by alumni and is one of its 38 members. He says he believes the extent of Sandusky's crimes -- the longtime assistant under Paterno was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys and currently is serving a decades-long prison sentence -- has clouded judgment of other top officials, including Spanier.
"I am tired of victims' getting in the way of clearer thinking and a reasoned approach to who knew what and who did what," he told The Chronicle.
Lord did not apologize for his comments upon follow-up by The Chronicle.
"The notion that there can be only one point of view with respect to all this stuff, and trustees at Penn State should toe a line that reflects the politically correct point of view, is symptomatic of what ails us," he said.
Chairman Ira M. Lubert said Lord's comments didn't reflect the board's feelings as a whole.
"Al Lord's comments are personal and do not represent the opinions of the board or the university," Lubert told The Chronicle. "The sentiments of board and university leadership were expressed in the very first line of the statement released by Penn State: First and foremost, our thoughts remain with the victims of Jerry Sandusky."
The attorney general's office, meanwhile, said prosecutors will "never 'run out of sympathy' for victims of sexual abuse."
"Unlike Mr. Lord, the jury understood how Graham Spanier's failure to act, while a predator was in his midst, caused actual and grievous harm,'' the office said.
As for Spanier, the foreman in the jury that found him guilty of one count of child endangerment last week says he believes the verdict was a mistake.
"I don't care how many mistakes you make in a lifetime ... you have to reach a point somewhere where you can live with your mistake," Richard Black told reporters, according to Philly.com. "In this particular case, I can live with it -- even though I feel it was wrong -- because it was an honest endeavor. ... Twelve people sat in that room and hammered back and forth, and honestly did what they were asked to do."
Asked what he thought the jury got wrong, Black said: "In my opinion, I don't think Graham Spanier knew [this was reported as a sexual assault]. They [former athletic director Tim Curley and ex-PSU vice president Gary Schultz] did not make him understand how serious a situation this might be."
Curley and Schultz pleaded guilty earlier this month to child endangerment and testified for the prosecution in the Spanier trial. All three men await sentencing.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.