The Second Mile, a charitable organization founded by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, is attempting to transfer its programs and millions in assets to another youth organization. The move comes in response to a steep drop in donations and loss of volunteers that followed Sandusky’s indictment on 52 counts of sexual abuse on children he allegedly met at The Second Mile. To lawyers who represent Sandusky’s accusers, the action appears to be an effort to shield the organization’s assets from pending and threatened lawsuits.
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What’s the problem?
May 29, 2012 – If The Second Mile’s proposal is approved by a judge, the organization will give nearly $3 million to the Pennsylvania chapter of Arrow Child and Family Ministries, a Texas-based charity whose mission it is to assist at-risk children. Arrow would then take over The Second Mile’s key programs and open an office in State College. The Second Mile, which is named as a defendant in at least three separate lawsuits by Sandusky’s alleged victims, concluded that its only viable option at this point is to transfer operations to a similar organization and close its doors.
Founded in Houston in 1992, Arrow has grown into a $36 million-a-year operation that serves nearly 2,000 at-risk children in Texas, Maryland, California and Pennsylvania. The organization is certified to provide child welfare, foster care, and adoption services.
The Second Mile’s acting CEO David Woodle said the proposed transition would allow the charity’s programs to continue under Arrow.
“What we’ve done is taken a very solid period of time to figure out all of these services for thousands of kids that have gone on for years can go on,” Woodle said.
Donors to The Second Mile said that the demise of the charity is regrettable, but all too understandable given the circumstances surrounding the organization since the controversy involving Sandusky ignited late last year.
“It’s a shame, for the most part, because outside of the accusations about Sandusky, they’ve done a lot for a lot of kids,” said George Ahart of Walnutport, a market owner who donated to The Second Mile because of his love for Penn State football.
Sandusky, 68, established the charity in 1977 as a home for foster children. The organization grew into a statewide institution that provided development, support, and athletic opportunities for more than 6,000 disadvantaged children each year.
On house arrest since December, Sandusky is facing 52 counts of child sexual abuse in a trial set to begin next Tuesday. Court documents indicate that Sandusky met many of his alleged victims, who ranged in age from 11 to 17, at events hosted by The Second Mile.
To date, at least three of Sandusky’s accusers have filed legal claims or notices they intend to sue, with each naming The Second Mile as a defendant. Although the actual number of accusers is still uncertain, court documents suggest there may be upwards of 17 alleged victims in the case.
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Free Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a sexual abuse suit and we can help.