Share This Page

Second Mile workers being laid off

PITTSBURGH — A charity founded by a former Penn State assistant football coach charged with molesting boys is laying off some employees.

The Second Mile was founded in 1977 by Jerry Sandusky, who's accused of molesting 10 boys he met through its programs. Sandusky maintains his innocence.

For more than 20 years, the charity received accolades and widespread community support for its programs designed to help troubled youths. It grew from a volunteer organization to one with more than $3 million in revenue in 2009, and it reported helping thousands of children.

The charity said in a statement Wednesday that it has recently lost significant financial support and that some employees will be laid off over the next several months. It didn't say how many staffers would be cut. It has three offices in Pennsylvania, with headquarters in State College, where Penn State is based.

Sandusky, who has acknowledged horsing around and showering with boys but has denied molesting them, informed The Second Mile's board in November 2008 that he was under investigation because of abuse allegations. The charity said it subsequently barred him from activities involving children.

The charity's revenue, primarily from donations and fundraisers such as golf tournaments, declined to about $2.7 million in 2010, and Sandusky, who played a major role in fundraising, resigned later that year.

Last month, The Second Mile said it was looking at three options in the wake of the sex abuse scandal: continuing programs at a reduced level, transferring programs to other organizations or closing.

But attorneys representing people who accuse Sandusky of abusing them then said they planned to sue the charity and sought an injunction to stop it from dissolving or transferring its assets. The attorneys and the charity agreed to a settlement last week, but full details weren't disclosed.

The Second Mile said in Wednesday's statement that it is saddened by the need to make the cuts and that it will try to preserve key programs. Previously scheduled programs will continue as planned.

The charity also said it is cooperating with the attorney general's investigation and will adhere to its legal responsibilities.

Legislation passed

The state House unanimously passed legislation on Wednesday that would create a special felony charge for sports officials and volunteers who sexually assault children in their programs.

The bill would make it a third-degree felony for a sports official, volunteer or employee of a nonprofit to engage in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with a child younger than 18 who is participating in the program. The maximum penalty is seven years imprisonment and $15,000 fine.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.