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Court Restores Jerry Sandusky's Penn State Pension

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives for a hearing last month at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa.
Gene J. Puskar

A Pennsylvania court has ruled that the state must restore the pension of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach imprisoned for sexually abusing 10 boys.

The State Employees' Retirement Board revoked Sandusky's pension in October 2012, when he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse.

The court said Sandusky, 71, was entitled to the pension — which amounts to $4,900 a month — because he was affiliated with the university but was not a Penn State employee during the time he committed the crimes that voided his pension.

"The board conflated the requirements that Mr. Sandusky engage in 'work relating to' PSU [Penn State University] and that he engage in work 'for' PSU," Judge Dan Pellegrini wrote on behalf of a unanimous Commonwealth Court panel.

Sandusky received a lump sum of $168,000 when he retired in 1999, although he maintained strong ties to the football program. He had an office on campus and free season tickets to its football and basketball games, according to court documents published by PennLive.

The judges ordered the retirement board to reinstate the pension retroactively and pay back interest. That means Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, will receive some three years' worth of makeup payments, according to The Associated Press.

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Alexandra Starr
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