BELLEFONTE,, Pa. — Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky will spend at least the next 30 years of his life behind bars in a state prison, a judge ordered this morning.
Senior Judge John Cleland said he was not going to sentence Sandusky to centuries behind prison because that number would be too abstract to a 68-year-old man.
Instead, he gave Sandusky 10-year minimum sentences on two of the most serious counts.
“You abused the trust of those who trusted you,” Cleland told a frail-looking Sandusky, dressed in a red jumpsuit, standing at a podium with his defense attorney Joe Amendola. “These are not crimes committed against strangers.”
Cleland said instead they were crimes against children – children whom he betrayed and assaulted not only their bodies but also their psyche.
“That is much, much worse,” said Cleland, who said he took into account the severity of the offense, Sandusky’s danger to the community and his rehabilitative needs.
An unapologetic Sandusky addressed the court, denying several times he ever did anything but saying his conviction has not ruined his resolve.
“They can’t take away my heart, and in my heart I did not do these alleged disgusting acts,” he said.
It was at times a rambling oration, telling the judge he had seen the light, that he’s visited trailer parks to visit Second Mile participants and that he hit a cinder block in the county jail upon realizing he wasn’t going to be with his wife on their 46th wedding anniversary.
He read a card from a former Second Mile participant that praised Sandusky for helping the person.
He also told the judge his wife was his only sex partner – after they got married.
Sandusky’s started to choke up when he said how unbearable it had been to be separated from his loved ones while in jail.
Cleland ordered the rest of the counts run concurrently to one another. Sandusky was given credit for 112 days he’s spent in the county jail awaiting since his conviction in June.
The young men known as Victims 4, 5 and 6 addressed the court.
Prosecutor Joseph E. McGettigan read statements from Victim 1, who was in attendance but chose not to speak himself, as well as the mother of Victim 9.