STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania charity for troubled youths started by convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky sought permission Friday to transfer money to a Texas ministry so that mentoring programs can be offered this spring.
The Second Mile petitioned a judge to send $200,000 to Houston-based Arrow Child & Family Ministries, saying a limited cash transfer would allow Arrow to run three Second Mile programs while preserving the ability of the charity to pay damages to Sandusky’s victims.
The State College-based charity was financially crippled by the child-sex abuse scandal involving its founder and onetime public face. After a six-month internal review, The Second Mile concluded last May that it could not continue and asked a court for permission to transfer programs and millions of dollars in assets to Arrow.
But the plan stalled amid opposition from victims’ attorneys and The Second Mile put it on hold until lawsuits against the charity are resolved.
If Centre County Orphans’ Court approves the petition, The Second Mile said it will lay off remaining program staff and retain two part-time employees, an administrator and a bookkeeper, to oversee settlement efforts and the sale of the charity’s property.
“Our goal has been 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,” CEO David Woodle said in a statement.
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 was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison. He has maintained his innocence.
The charity had been one of the largest providers of youth social services in Pennsylvania until Sandusky’s arrest.