Penn State has contracted with a Texas-based abuse risk management company to arrange for counseling for the alleged victims of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the university announced Wednesday.
Since the child sex abuse scandal broke in November, university officials have pledged to help the victims who have said that Sandusky sexually abused them as children.
The university has hired Praesidium Inc., which specializes in helping large entities prevent abuse from occurring within their organizations, according to the company's website.
The counseling will be provided free of charge to the victims and will be confidential, the university said. It will be handled by counselors outside the university, and the school will not know the identity of those who use the services, the school said.
No budget for the counseling has been set, but funds will not come from tuition or state funds, a university spokeswoman said.
The university this week began reaching out to the some of the attorneys of the victims, notifying them of the new service, she said.
"We at Penn State are committed to helping victims of child abuse in every way we can," President Rod Erickson said in a prepared statement. "This is an important step in our effort to do so. We hope those in need will use these services."
Michael Boni, attorney for an 18-year-old identified in Grand Jury testimony as Victim one, said he had not been contacted by Penn State and was unaware of the new service.
"We represent victim one. You'd think they might contact us first," he said. "We'll believe it when we see it. To us, it's just a rumor."
He said his client has a therapist. But he said he would discuss the university's offer with his client and the client's mother to see if additional services would help.
Jeff Anderson, an attorney for a 30-year-old victim identified as John Doe A, said he also had not heard from the university. If it is "authentically given" and the appropriate resources are offered, he will discuss it with his client, he said.
"We'll have to see how that plays out," he said.
The client has had intermittent counseling, he said, due to financial constraints.
"It's been a struggle for him," Anderson said.