Jerry Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday morning, 11 months after he was arrested on child sex abuse accusations, to 30 to 60 years in prison. This is essentially a life sentence for the 68-year-old former Penn State coach. Sandusky was found guilty in June on 45 counts of sexually molesting ten boys over 15 years, a scandal that has brought shame and consequence to Penn State University as well as the downfall of once-famed coach Joe Paterno.
Before the former assistant coach was convicted and sentence, Jerry Sandusky used his respected position and The Second Mile charity he founded to prey on young boys. Eight of the ten boys he was convicted of molesting testified at his trial and key-witness, former graduate assistant Mike McQueary, testified to seeing Sandusky raping a young boy in the locker room shower.
The former Penn State assistant coach gave a 15-minute statement in trial, rambling about missing his family and maintaining that he was not only innocent, but a victim of the families accusing him of the abuse. The statement has been described as defiant even, a similar tone to an audio statement he released on Monday. Jerry Sandusky promised in both statements to appeal his conviction after he was sentenced.
“We will continue to fight,” Jerry Sandusky said before the sentencing in his statement Monday. “We didn’t lose the proven facts, evidence, accurate locations and times. Anything can be said. We lost to speculation and stories that were influenced by people who wanted to convict me.”
It is, however, a different story for Sandusky’s victims. Three of the victims testified on Tuesday, fighting back tears and confronting Jerry Sandusky with direct glances. One talked of the images he has in his head of Sandusky’s naked body while another spoke of Sandusky’s denial and said he should “stop coming up with excuses.”
“I’ve been left with deep painful wounds that you caused and had been buried in the garden of my heart for many years,” the young man, an 11-year-old in 1998 when Sandusky lured him to the showers, said at the trial.
The third spoke directly and without reserve of the abuse he endured over many years from Jerry Sandusky.
“I want you to know I don’t forgive you and I don’t know if I ever will forgive you,” he said. “My only regret is that I didn’t come forward sooner.”