Second Mile charity Jerry Sandusky founded halts plan to close down

Posted: August 29, 2012

The charity at the center of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal halted plans Monday to shut down its operations and transfer its assets.

The Second Mile asked Centre County Orphans Court to postpone any decision on a proposal to shift its programs to the Houston-based charity Arrow Child and Family Ministries, saying it wanted to wait until lawsuits by the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach's victims had been resolved.

The decision "will better serve all involved as it limits further stress on the victims and avoids unnecessary litigation costs," Second Mile chief executive Dave Woodle said.

Sandusky founded the Second Mile in 1977 as a charity for underprivileged youth, but the organization has been besieged since his arrest last year. A Centre County Court jury convicted him in June of molesting 10 boys he met through the charity over 15 years.

In May, Woodle said controversy surrounding the Sandusky case had made it nearly impossible to continue fund-raising for programs such as the Second Mile's annual summer camps and one-on-one counseling.

He offered a plan to transfer the organization's remaining assets to Arrow, which offers youth-oriented services for lower-income families in Pennsylvania.

But the Attorney General's Office, which continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding Sandusky's crimes, and attorneys for several of the former coach's victims sought to block the transfer.

Monday's decision came as part of a joint agreement among prosecutors, the accusers' lawyers, and the Second Mile.

The charity will continue offering its programs in the meantime, Woodle said.


Contact Jeremy Roebuck at 267-564-5218, jroebuck@phillynews.com, or @jeremyrroebuck on Twitter.

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