Last updated: February 17. 2013 8:44AM - 110 Views

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UPDATED AT 5:14 p.m.:
BELLEFONTE -- In what sounded at times like a locker room pep talk, Jerry Sandusky rambled in his red prison suit about being the underdog in the fourth quarter, about forgiveness, about dogs and about the movie ‚??Seabiscuit.‚?Ě
With his accusers seated behind him in the courtroom, he denied committing ‚??disgusting acts‚?Ě against children and instead painted himself as the victim.
And then, after he had said his piece, a judge sentenced him to 30 to 60 years in prison Tuesday, all but ensuring the 68-year-old Sandusky will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the child sexual abuse scandal that brought disgrace to Penn State and triggered the downfall of his former boss, football coach Joe Paterno.
He leaves behind a trail of human and legal wreckage that could take years for the university to clear away.
‚??The tragedy of this crime is that it‚??s a story of betrayal. The most obvious aspect is your betrayal of 10 children,‚?Ě Judge John Cleland said after a hearing in which three of the men Sandusky was convicted of molesting as boys confronted him face to face and told of the lasting pain he had inflicted.
The judge said he expects Sandusky to die in prison.
In a disjointed, 15-minute address before he learned his sentence, Sandusky said: ‚??In my heart I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.‚?Ě
Sprinkling his remarks with sports references, the former assistant coach spoke of being locked up in a jail cell, subjected to outbursts from fellow inmates, reading inspirational books and trying to find a purpose in his fate. His voice cracked as he talked about missing his loved ones, including his wife, Dottie, who was in the gallery.
‚??Hopefully we can get better as a result of our hardship and suffering, that somehow, some way, something good will come out of this,‚?Ě Sandusky said.
He also spoke of instances in which he helped children and did good works in the community, adding: ‚??I‚??ve forgiven, I‚??ve been forgiven. I‚??ve comforted others, I‚??ve been comforted. I‚??ve been kissed by dogs, I‚??ve been bit by dogs. I‚??ve conformed, I‚??ve also been different. I‚??ve been me. I‚??ve been loved, I‚??ve been hated.‚?Ě
Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts, found guilty of raping or fondling boys he had met through the acclaimed youth charity he founded, The Second Mile. He plans to appeal, arguing among other things that his defense was not given enough time to prepare for trial after his arrest last November.
Among the victims who spoke in court Tuesday was a young man who said he was 11 when Sandusky groped him in a shower in 1998. He said Sandusky is in denial and should ‚??stop coming up with excuses.‚?Ě
‚??I‚??ve been left with deep painful wounds that you caused and had been buried in the garden of my heart for many years,‚?Ě he said.
Another man said he was 13 in 2001 when Sandusky lured him into a Penn State sauna and then a shower and forced him to touch the ex-coach. ‚??I am troubled with flashbacks of his naked body, something that will never be erased from my memory,‚?Ě he said.
After the sentencing, prosecutor Joe McGettigan praised the victims‚?? courage and dismissed Sandusky‚??s comments as ‚??a masterpiece of banal self-delusion, completely untethered from reality and without any acceptance of responsibility.‚?Ě
‚??It was entirely self-focused as if he, again, were the victim,‚?Ě McGettigan said.
Lawyers for the victims said they were satisfied with the sentence, but with four lawsuits brought against Penn State and several more expected, and Penn State laboring under severe NCAA penalties, cleaning up in the wake of what may be the biggest scandal in college sports history may take years.
Ben Andreozzi, an attorney for one the victims, said the university needs to do more: ‚??It‚??s important they understand before we get into serious discussions about money, that there are other, noneconomic issues. We need apologies. We need changes in policy. This isn‚??t just about money.‚?Ě
Penn State fired Paterno after Sandusky‚??s arrest, and the coach died of lung cancer three months later. The scandal also brought down university President Graham Spanier.
Two university administrators, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, are awaiting trial in January on charges they failed to properly report suspicions about Sandusky and lied to the grand jury that investigated him.
Over the summer, an investigation commissioned by Penn State and led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh concluded that Paterno and other top officials covered up allegations against Sandusky for more than a decade to avoid bad publicity.
After the report came out, the NCAA fined Penn State a record $60 million, barred the football team from postseason play for four years, cut the number of scholarships it can award, and erased 14 years of victories for Paterno, stripping him of his standing as the winningest coach in the history of big-time college football.
In a three-minute recorded statement aired Monday night by Penn State radio, Sandusky described himself as the victim of a ‚??well-orchestrated effort‚?Ě by his accusers, the media, Penn State, plaintiffs‚?? attorneys and others ‚?? a claim the judge dismissed on Tuesday as an unbelievable conspiracy theory.
‚??I speak today with hope in my heart for a brighter day, not knowing if that day will come,‚?Ě Sandusky said. ‚??Many moments have been spent looking for a purpose. Maybe it will help others, some vulnerable children who might have been abused, might not be, as a result of the publicity.‚?Ě
After the sentencing, Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a statement: ‚??Our thoughts today, as they have been for the last year, go out to the victims of Jerry Sandusky‚??s abuse. While today‚??s sentence cannot erase what has happened, hopefully it will provide comfort to those affected by these horrible events.‚?Ě

UPDATED AT 11:21 a.m.:
BELLEFONTE -- Jerry Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison ‚?? effectively a life sentence ‚?? in the child sexual abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno‚??s downfall.
A defiant Sandusky gave a rambling statement in which he denied the allegations and talked about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family.
Three victims spoke, often fighting back tears. One looked Sandusky in the eyes at times.
The 68-year-old former Penn State assistant coach was found guilty in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, convicted of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period. Witnesses said Sandusky used the charitable organization he founded for troubled children as his personal hunting ground to find and groom boys to become his victims.
His arrest 11 months ago, and the details that came out during his trial over the summer, transformed Sandusky‚??s public image from a college coach who had been widely admired for his work with The Second Mile charity into that of a reviled pervert who preyed on the very youngsters who sought his help.
Eight of the boys he was found guilty of molesting testified at his trial, describing a range of abuse that included fondling, oral sex and anal intercourse. One of the prosecution‚??s star witnesses, former graduate assistant Mike McQueary, testified that he saw Sandusky raping a boy in a locker room shower.
Among the three who spoke Tuesday, a young man who said he was 11 when Sandusky groped him in a shower in 1998. He said Sandusky is in denial and should ‚??stop coming up with excuses.‚?Ě
‚??I‚??ve been left with deep painful wounds that you caused and had been buried in the garden of my heart for many years,‚?Ě he said.
Another man said he was 13 when, in 2001, Sandusky lured him into a Penn State sauna and then a shower and then forced him to touch the ex-coach.
‚??I am troubled with flashbacks of his naked body, something that will never be erased from my memory,‚?Ě he said. ‚??Jerry has harmed children, of which I am one of them.‚?Ě
Sandusky has consistently maintained his innocence and plans to appeal. One element of the appeal is expected to be a claim that the defense did not have time to adequately prepare for trial. Sandusky was charged in November, following a lengthy investigation.
In a three-minute monologue aired Monday night by Penn State Com Radio that used some of the same language as his courtroom statement, Sandusky said he knows in his heart that he did not do what he called ‚??these alleged disgusting acts‚?Ě and described himself as the victim of a coordinated conspiracy among Penn State, investigators, civil attorneys, the media and others.
His statement in court lasted 15 minutes and his voice cracked as he spoke of missing his loved ones.
‚??I speak today with hope in my heart for a brighter day, not knowing if that day will come,‚?Ě Sandusky said. ‚??Many moments have been spent looking for a purpose. Maybe it will help others, some vulnerable children who might have been abused, might not be, as a result of the publicity.‚?Ě
His statement included numerous sports references: He said he once told his wife ‚??we‚??re definitely in the fourth quarter‚?Ě and he referenced the movie ‚??Seabiscuit.‚?Ě
He also spoke of instances in which he said he helped children.
‚??I‚??ve forgiven, I‚??ve been forgiven. I‚??ve comforted others, I‚??ve been comforted. I‚??ve been kissed by dogs, I‚??ve been bit by dogs,‚?Ě he said. ‚??I‚??ve conformed, I‚??ve also been different. I‚??ve been me. I‚??ve been loved, I‚??ve been hated.‚?Ě
Judge John Cleland sentenced him to 30 to 60 years in prison. Under Pennsylvania law, Sandusky cannot be released on parole before the minimum term is up.
‚??The tragedy of this crime is that it‚??s a story of betrayal. The most obvious aspect is your betrayal of 10 children,‚?Ě Cleland told Sandusky. ‚??I‚??m not going to sentence you to centuries in prison, although the law will permit that.‚?Ě Still, Cleland said, he expected Sandusky to die in prison.
Before sentencing, Cleland designated Sandusky as a sexually violent predator under the state‚??s Megan‚??s Law. The label essentially has no effect on Sandusky, since its requirement is lifetime registration after a convict is released from prison.
In sentencing the ex-coach, Cleland called Sandusky dangerous, saying, ‚??You abused the trust of those who trusted you.‚?Ě He also called Sandusky‚??s comments about a conspiracy against him ‚??unbelievable.‚?Ě
The scandal brought devastation in State College that will take years to fully assess, as Sandusky‚??s victims are pressing civil claims and a January trial is pending for Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, two university administrators charged with failing to properly report suspicions about Sandusky and lying to the grand jury that investigated him.
Soon after the three were arrested in November, the board of trustees fired Paterno, the school‚??s most famous figure and a man who won two national college football championships in the 1980s. Paterno died of lung cancer in January.
Over the summer, an investigation commissioned by the university and led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh concluded that Paterno and other top officials covered up allegations against Sandusky for years to avoid bad publicity.
The scandal also toppled university President Graham Spanier and led to crippling NCAA sanctions against the football team that included a $60 million fine, a ban on postseason play and a reduction in the number of football scholarships the school can award. The NCAA also erased 14 years of victories for Paterno, stripping him of his standing as major college football‚??s winningest coach.
At least four young men have sued Penn State over the way the university responded to disturbing complaints about Sandusky.
Eight legal teams representing at least 20 young men have surfaced, and the school recently announced an effort to settle as many claims as possible by the end of the year.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson released a statement shortly after the sentence was handed down.
‚??Our thoughts today, as they have been for the last year, go out to the victims of Jerry Sandusky‚??s abuse,‚?Ě Erickson said. ‚??While today‚??s sentence cannot erase what has happened, hopefully it will provide comfort to those affected by these horrible events.‚?Ě
The third victim who spoke had testified that he was raped over the course of years by Sandusky, including on team trips to bowl games in Texas and Florida.
‚??I want you to know I don‚??t forgive you and I don‚??t know if I will ever forgive you,‚?Ě he said. ‚??My only regret is that I didn‚??t come forward sooner.‚?Ě



FIRST POSTED AT 10:20 a.m.:
BELLEFONTE ‚?? Jerry Sandusky was sentenced this morning to at least 30 years in prison - effectively a life sentence - in the child sexual abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno's downfall.

A defiant Sandusky gave a long, rambling statement in which he denied the allegations and talked about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family.

The 68-year-old former Penn State assistant coach was found guilty in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, convicted of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period. Witnesses said Sandusky used the charitable organization he founded for troubled children as his personal hunting ground to find and groom boys to become his victims.

His arrest 11 months ago, and the details that came out during his trial over the summer, transformed Sandusky's public image from a college coach who had been widely admired for his work with The Second Mile charity into that of a reviled pervert who preyed on the very youngsters who sought his help.

Eight of the boys he was found guilty of molesting testified at his trial, describing a range of abuse that included fondling, oral sex and anal intercourse. One of the prosecution's star witnesses, former graduate assistant Mike McQueary, testified that he saw Sandusky raping a boy in a locker room shower.

Sandusky has consistently maintained his innocence and plans to appeal.

In a three-minute monologue aired Monday night by Penn State Com Radio that used some of the same language as his courtroom statement, Sandusky said he knows in his heart that he did not do what he called "these alleged disgusting acts" and described himself as the victim of Penn State, investigators, civil attorneys, the media and others.

"They can take away my life, they can make me out as a monster, they can treat me as a monster, but they can't take away my heart," he told the radio station. "In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts. My wife has been my only sex partner and that was after marriage."

Judge John Cleland sentenced him to 30 to 60 years in prison. Under Pennsylvania law, Sandusky cannot be released on parole before the minimum term is up.

The scandal brought devastation in State College that will take years to fully assess, as Sandusky's victims are pressing civil claims and a January trial is pending for Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, two university administrators charged with failing to properly report suspicions about Sandusky and lying to the grand jury that investigated him.

Soon after the three were arrested in November, the board of trustees fired Paterno, the school's most famous figure and a man who won two national college football championships in the 1980s. Paterno died of lung cancer in January.

Over the summer, an investigation commissioned by the university and led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh concluded that Paterno and other top officials covered up allegations against Sandusky for years to avoid bad publicity.

The scandal also toppled university President Graham Spanier and led to crippling NCAA sanctions against the football team that included a $60 million fine, a ban on postseason play and a reduction in the number of football scholarships the school can award. The NCAA also erased 14 years of victories for Paterno, stripping him of his standing as major college football's winningest coach.

The following statement was released today by Penn State President Rodney Erickson regarding the Jerry Sandusky sentencing: "Our thoughts today, as they have been for the last year, go out to the victims of Jerry Sandusky‚??s abuse. 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."

At least four young men have sued Penn State over the way the university responded to disturbing complaints about Sandusky.

Eight legal teams representing at least 20 young men have surfaced, and the school recently announced an effort to settle as many claims as possible by the end of the year.
 
 
 
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