(USA TODAY) - Penn State will pay $59.7 million to 26 sexual abuse victims of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the school said Monday.
The terms of the settlements include confidentiality agreements, the school said in a press release. Of the 26 settlements, 23 are signed and three are agreed in principle, with final documentation expected within the next few weeks.
"The Board of Trustees has had as one of its primary objectives to reach settlements in a way that is fair and respects the privacy of the individuals involved," Keith Masser, chair of the Board of Trustees, said in a statement. "This is another important milestone in accomplishing that goal."
University President Rodney Erickson called the agreements "another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr. Sandusky, and another step forward for Penn State."
The settlements won't be funded by student tuition, taxpayer funds or donations, the university said. Expenses not covered by insurance are expected to be funded from interest revenues related to loans made by the school.
Penn State has rejected some of the six remaining claims as being without merit and has engaged others in possible settlement discussions. Penn State has spent more than $50 million on other costs related to the Sandusky scandal, including lawyers' fees, public relations expenses, and adoption of new policies and procedures related to children and sexual abuse complaints.
Sandusky was convicted in June 2012 of 45 criminal counts. Since then, the school repeatedly stressed its determination to compensate his victims.
Sandusky, 69, has been pursuing appeals while he serves a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.
Three former Penn State administrators await trial in Harrisburg on charges they engaged in a criminal cover-up of the Sandusky scandal. Former president Graham Spanier, retired vice president Gary Schultz and retired athletic director Tim Curley deny the allegations, and a trial date has not been scheduled.
Eight young men testified against Sandusky, describing a range of abuse they said went from grooming and manipulation to fondling, oral sex and anal rape when they were boys.
Sandusky did not testify at his trial but has long asserted his innocence. He has acknowledged he showered with boys but insisted he never molested them.
The abuse scandal rocked Penn State, bringing down football coach Joe Paterno and leading college sports' governing body, the NCAA, to levy unprecedented sanctions against the university's football program.