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Re: Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse trial
Sandusky's sentence: 30 to 60 years in prison
October 9, 2012 12:20 pm
By Paula Reed Ward / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Less than a day after Jerry Sandusky gave a statement in which he continued to proclaim his innocence and blame others for his conviction on 45 child sex abuse charges, the former Penn State University assistant football coach was sentenced to between 30 and 60 years in prison.
"That has the unmistakable effect of saying you will spend the rest of your life in prison," Senior Judge John M. Cleland said.
Sandusky will remain at the Centre County Correctional Facility for 10 days before being transported to state prison.
His attorney, Joe Amendola, has said his client would like to be placed in a general population.
Sandusky spoke for 15 minutes, repeating much of a statement released Monday on a Penn State student radio station.
"Others can take my life and make me out as a monster," Sandusky said. "They can't take away my heart. In my heart I know I did not do these alleged, disgusting acts."
He questioned how his conviction occurred and said often that he continues to have hope and that the truth will eventually come out.
"We're starting the fourth quarter now," he said.
He became emotional only when talking about his family standing by him, and how unbearable his life would become if that were to stop.
"You find out who's committed, who will stand by you," Sandusky said.
Three of Sandusky's victims read statements, and Mr. McGettigan read one from another and from the mother of one more.
The prosecution did not make any request for a specific sentence.
"He will complain there wasn't time enough to prove his innocence," Senior Deputy Attorney General Joe McGettigan said. "There's not time enough in the world for him to prove that lie."
Sandusky was the only one to speak on his behalf. He called no witnesses, although a number of letters in support had previously been submitted to Judge Cleland.
Penn State president Rodney Erickson issued a statement via email after the sentencing.
"Our thoughts today, as they have been for the last year, go out to the victims of Jerry Sandusky's abuse," Mr Erickson said in the statement. "While today's sentence cannot erase what has happened, hopefully it will provide comfort to those affected by these horrible events and help them continue down the road to recovery."
Gov. Tom Corbett, who as attorney general supervised the early stages of the investigation, released his own statement this afternoon.
"These cases are difficult in the best of circumstances," Mr. Corbett said in his statement. "It is to the credit of these investigators, along with the resilience of the victims, resulting in an airtight case, the conviction of 45 crimes -- and now, today's sentence."
Investigators and prosecutors weren't the only people the governor mentioned.
"I want to especially commend the victims in the case, who had the courage to come forward and testify in open court, in spite of tremendous pressure and national publicity," Mr. Corbett said in hiss statement.
In Sandusky's radio statement Monday, the former coach continued to declare his innocence and blamed his conviction on a vast conspiracy.
"A young man who is dramatic and a veteran accuser and always sought attention started everything," he said in the statement. "He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won. I've wondered what they really won. Attention, financial gain, prestige will all be temporary."
Even having said that, this morning Sandusky admitted fond thoughts for his accusers.
"These are people I cared about and still do," he said.
Mr. McGettigan called the radio statement "an insult."
"It is an insult to human decency," he said. "The defendant was and is the most insidious of criminals."
Courtroom No. 1 was largely packed by 8:30.
Sandusky's wife, Dottie, entered the room at 8:49 a.m. followed eight minutes later by the victims and their families.
Sandusky entered with his defense team a 8:58, wearing a red jail jumpsuit stamped with "Centre County" on the back. He appeared to be much thinner than during his trial.
A jury found Sandusky guilty on all but three of 48 counts in June following a two-week trial before Judge Cleland.
The most serious among them were involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and endangering the welfare of children.
Prosecutors with the Pennsylvania attorney general's office accused Sandusky of abusing 10 boys across 15 years, sometimes in Penn State facilities.
His conviction included counts related to all 10.
In the months leading up to trial, Mr. McGettigan called Sandusky's charity for youth, Second Mile, "a victim factory."
In the months since being found guilty, Sandusky has remained in the Centre County Correctional Facility in segregation.
Sandusky said he spends his time in jail reading, meditating, writing and exercising.
While the Sandusky criminal case has concluded -- although he has said he will appeal -- prosecutors are now gearing up to try two former Penn State administrators for perjury, accusing them of lying to a grand jury about their knowledge of the accusations against Sandusky.
Athletic director Tim Curley and retired senior vice president for finance Gary Schultz are scheduled for trial Jan. 7 in Harrisburg.
All generalizations are dangerous.