Albert L. Lord made the controversial statement in an email to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
A Penn State trustee has come under fire for minimizing the suffering of Jerry Sandusky’s victims.
“Running out of sympathy for 35 yr old, so-called victims with 7 digit net worth,” trustee Albert L. Lord wrote Saturday in an email to the Chronicle of Higher Education. “Do not understand why they were so prominent in trial. As you learned, Graham Spanier never knew Sandusky abused anyone.”
Spanier, the former president of Penn State was found guilty on one count of child endangerment Friday. He was found not guilty on a second count and not guilty of conspiracy.
The charges stemmed from Spanier’s handling of a 2001 complaint against Sandusky filed by whistleblower Mike McQueary, who claimed to have seen Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the shower. Spanier said he was unaware McQueary’s complaint referred to a sexual assault.
Sandusky was arrested on Nov. 5, 2011, and Spanier resigned four days later—the same day head football coach Joe Paterno was fired. Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts and sentenced to 60 years in prison. Penn State has paid out more than $90 million in civil damages to his victims.
“Al Lord’s comments are personal and do not represent the opinions of the board or the university,” Ira M. Lubert, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a statement.
Lord, the former CEO of Sallie Mae, is a 1967 graduate of Penn State and one of five candidates running in the election for three trustee positions this year. Paterno’s son Jay is also a candidate.