Jerry Sandusky could keep state pension despite sex-abuse conviction

In this booking photo released early Saturday morning June 23, 2012 by the Centre County Correctional Facility in Bellefonte, Pa., former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is shown. Sandusky was convicted on Friday, June 22, 2012, of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years Friday, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno..
AP Photo/Centre County Correctional Facility
Jerry Sandusky
AP Photo/Centre County Correctional Facility

(CBS/AP) PHILADELPHIA - Jerry Sandusky could retain his yearly $59,000 state pension for the rest of his life, even after being convicted last week on 45 criminal counts for sexually abusing 10 boys.

Pictures: Jerry Sandusky convicted of child abuse

Pennsylvania's public employee pension system says it won't be able to say if Sandusky will lose his retirement benefits until after he's sentenced, a proceeding expected in about three months.

According to CBS Philly, Sandusky is still collecting monthly pension checks of $4,908.17.

Offenses that trigger forfeiture of a pension are generally along the lines of theft, obstruction and perjury. According to Penn Live, sex-related offenses are not included in the list of 22 crimes for which a former employee could lose his or her pension. 

However, a pension system document says forfeiture can also occur when a school employee commits certain sex offenses against a student.

A spokeswoman for the State Employees' Retirement System said Wednesday that the agency doesn't speculate about potential future actions under the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act.

There are currently several bills before the Pennsylvania legislature that would expand the list of crimes for which an employee could be denied a pension, Penn Live reports.

According to CBS Philly, Sandusky collected a $148,000 lump sum payment when he retired from the university in 1999. The state pension fund reportedly says his final average salary was $101,787.

Complete coverage of the Jerry Sandusky case on Crimesider