The charity for troubled youths started by convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky said Monday that it will postpone a plan to shut down and transfer programs and assets to a Texas ministry until lawsuits against the charity are resolved.
The Second Mile had petitioned a judge to allow it to shift programs and millions of dollars in assets to Houston-based Arrow Child & Family Ministries Inc. The charity said it will seek to halt the transfer until the resolution of any damage claims filed by lawyers for Sandusky's victims.
"Our goal is to ensure that the at-risk children who benefit from The Second Mile programs continue to receive the support they need while also being mindful of Jerry Sandusky's victims and the horrible abuse they suffered," said David Woodle, chief executive of The Second Mile. "Both The Second Mile and Arrow feel that staying the petition at this time will better serve all involved as it limits further stress on the victims and avoids unnecessary litigation costs."
The Second Mile, the state attorney general's office and lawyers for four of Sandusky's victims are listed on an agreement filed Monday in Centre County Orphans' Court. It requires court approval.
The Second Mile was financially crippled by the child sex abuse scandal involving Sandusky, its founder and onetime public face. After a six-month internal review, the State College-based charity concluded in May that it could not continue.
Woodle said Monday that The Second Mile plans to continue operating programs using its cash reserves.
Sandusky, Penn State's longtime defensive coordinator, started The Second Mile in 1977 and later used it to find his victims. He was convicted in June of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys and awaits sentencing. He has maintained his innocence.
The charity had been one of the largest providers of youth social services in Pennsylvania until Sandusky's November arrest.