BELLEFONTE, Pa. (KDKA) – Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison Tuesday morning after being found guilty on 45 of 48 charges in a child sexual assault case earlier this year.
Sandusky arrived for the sentencing wearing a red prison jumpsuit with white tennis shoes. He remained handcuffed while being led into the courthouse by police.
During the sentencing, Judge John Cleland had some direct words for Sandusky.
“You have done much positive work. But you used that to conceal your vices. The reality is the nature of pedophiles is to gain the trust of parents and children, and then cover their crimes. The tragedy of this crime is that it’s a story of betrayal. Some of your victims had a genuine respect for you,” Judge Cleland said.
Regarding his taped statement from Monday, “like all conspiracy theories, it flows from the undeniable to the unbelievable,” Judge Cleland said.
Sandusky addressed Judge Cleland before the sentence was handed down.
“I feel a need to talk not from arrogance but from the heart. I did not do these disgusting acts. As I began to relive everything, it was a terrible feeling and my eyes filled with tears. Maybe some children who might have been abused will not be because of the publicity. The pain continues when I think about the people who’ve made the allegations. I’ve been confined to a small room. There are outbursts in the jail.”
“I told Dottie, ‘We’re definitely in the fourth quarter.’ Those who still believe in us are the only ones who matter. Not being able to hug my grandchildren, not being able to play with the dog. Yet, I get letters of support. I see family and friends, I see special inmates who smile at me,” Sandusky said.
He also read a letter of support he got in jail which ended with, ‘I love you Jerry.”
He also repeated several of the phrases released in his audio statement yesterday including, ‘My wife has been my only sex partner.”
The prosecutor said Sandusky’s taped statement attacking the victims and alleging conspiracy was an insult to the victims and the community.
Joseph McGettigan said Sandusky, “Whines of his own pain,” on the radio and thereby inflicts more pain upon victims and their families. He called The Second Mile, “a victim factory” for Sandusky.
McGettigan also said Sandusky’s words today will be, “deceitful and indecent as his acts were, and they will vanish in the wind.”
“The fact that he’s going to spend the rest of his life in jail is a testament to [the value of his statement.] It should disappear as if it never existed,” McGettigan said.
The defense chose to not provide evidence to challenge the Commonwealth’s contention that he is a sexually violent predator.
Judge Cleland ruled Sandusky is a sexually violent predator by, “clear and convincing evidence.”
Defense attorney Joe Amendola asked the judge to consider that the Sanduskys were, “kind and giving” and that they adopted six children over the years.
“I am asking the court not to ignore all of the good things that he did in his life,” Amendola said.
The defense was also unclear about the circumstances surrounding Sandusky’s taped message, which was released on Monday.
“My understanding is that tape had been made previously. The release was not under Mr. Sandusky’s control I’m told,” defense attorney Karl Rominger said. “The details of that I’m not certain of. I do know that the recording was made ahead of time and the exact release time was not in his control but my understanding is originally it was not to be released until after sentencing.”
The defense still claims it has ground for an appeal and plans to do so.
Several of the victims gave statements during the hearing:
Victim No. 9’s mother:
“I have had to endure my son’s suicide attempts all because of you. You’ve destroyed my family and I can never forgive you of that. Shame on you. Shame on you Mr. Sandusky,” she said.
Victim No. 1’s statement:
“There are no words to describe the pain and misery Jerry Sandusky has inflicted on my life. There are thoughts I didn’t want to think. I have been looking over my shoulder for a long time. There is no remorse in Jerry Sandusky, only evil.”
Victim No. 4’s statement:
“Rather than take accountability for your actions, you attacked us as though we did something wrong. I will never forgive you. I was in a troubled situation and you made it worse.”
Victim No. 5’s statement:
“He forcibly had me touch him. I am troubled with flashbacks of his naked body. I am tormented by nightmares and guilt. I will never erase the filthy images, but he must pay for his crimes. He took away my childhood the day he assaulted me. He should be sentenced accordingly.”
Victim No. 6’s statement:
“My personality changed for the worst. That night you called yourself the tickle monster so you could touch my 11-year-old body, has damaged me for life. The Bible says if we confess our sins he will forgive us. You are trying to speak forth your innocence. You are only fooling yourself. You won’t be able to receive forgiveness.”
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