Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky is getting his pension back.
A Pennsylvania appeals court ruled Friday that the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach has been due his benefits since the state withdrew them when he was sentenced to prison three years ago, The Associated Press reported.
Sandusky, 71, received a one-time $148,000 payment when he retired in 1999, and monthly payments of $4,900 thereafter.
The board of the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System halted the installments as soon as Sandusky was sentenced to up to 60 years in prison for sexually abusing 10 kids, the AP noted.
"There exists no statute which affirmatively requires the board to deny [Sandusky's] withheld retirement allowances," Judge Dan Pellegrini wrote in the Commonwealth Court opinion, per PennLive.com. "Indeed, the Retirement Code affirmatively required the board to grant the pension benefits," he added.
According to PennLive, the court decision partly hinged on its interpretation that Sandusky was not a Penn State employee when he committed the crimes between 2005 and 2008. Although he had speaking engagements and received other perks from the school, Sandusky's legal team had argued that he was officially retired.
A provision of the state Pension Forfeiture Act denies pension to school employees convicted of child sex crimes, but it didn't go into effect until 2004, several years after Sandusky had retired, PennLive noted.
Sandusky was also awarded back interest, according to Philly.com.
Sandusky's lawyer, Charles Benjamin, argued that his client had earned the pension money, and said that it was being used to support Sandusky's wife, Dottie.
"I spoke with her this morning, and obviously she's happy to hear that the pension has been restored," Benjamin told Philly.com. "And I'm sure that Jerry is also."
The decision may still be subject to appeal.
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