Jerry Sandusky Sentenced to 30-60 Years for Child Rape
Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, after he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years behind bars today for over a decade’s worth of sexual abuse of children.
The earliest the long-time defensive coordinator could be freed would be in 2042, when he will be 98 years old.
Sandusky was convicted in June of sexually molesting ten boys, including several counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. He met the children through his charity for troubled kids, Second Mile, and cultivated relationships with them by taking them to football games and giving them inside access to Penn State facilities.
Another Penn State coach testified at the trial that he saw Sandusky anally raping one of the victims in a school shower in 2003. The coach told Paterno and other administrators, but the police were never called and no allegations against Sandusky became public until a shocking grand jury report was released last year. Several of the charges against him came from boys he had molested after the 2003 incident.
All along Sandusky has maintained his innocence despite the mountain of evidence against him and the fact that eight of the 10 children he was accused of attacking testified against him in court in June. Yesterday, he released a recording again denying culpability. “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 said. “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.”
The former coach said the accusations against him were cooked up by one of the victims and were perpetuated 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. It will all be temporary.”
Penn State President Graham Spanier and legendary football coach Joe Paterno both lost their jobs last year when it became apparent they had known about the allegations against Sandusky in 2003 and did not act to stop him. Paterno died of complications from lung cancer this winter. Two other Penn State administrators are facing charges for perjury and failure to report abuse for lying to a grand jury about what they knew and when they knew it. They and the university could face a host of civil suits from victims.
An investigation by former FBI head Louis Freeh implicated top leadership at Penn State, including Paterno, for making efforts to cover up allegations against Sandusky since 1998.
The Sandusky legal team has indicated that they plan to appeal the conviction.