BELLEFONTE, Pa., (UPI) — Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday to not less than 30 years, and not more than 60 years in prison.
Given his age, he is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison. But Sandusky attorney Joe Amendola, after the sentencing hearing, suggested an appeal may be based on whether he was given adequate time to prepare a defense.
Amendola cited the U.S. and state constitutions’ guarantee of “due process of law,” which he said “also includes the concept of being able to … adequately prepare his defense before you show up in court.”
Sandusky, 68, who was convicted on 45 counts of sexually assaulting boys, repeatedly told Common Pleas Judge John Cleland, “I did not do these disgusting acts,” repeating what he said in a jailhouse interview, CNN reported
But his unnamed victims also made statements calling for severe punishment.
“His sentence will never erase what he did to me,” one victim said.
Cleland told Sandusky: “I’m not going to sentence you to centuries behind bars although the law would allow it. Talking to a 68-year old man about dozens and dozens of years in prison serves no practical purpose,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
An emotional Sandusky then used a football image, the report said, suggesting he will appeal: “We’re in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter you find out who will stand by you. For those still standing up for me, we will continue to fight.”
Prosecutor Joseph McGettigan told the court: “The defendant was, and is, the most insidious and depraved of criminals. He treated his victims like sexual property and discarded them when he wanted,” the Inquirer reported.
Sandusky was given credit for the 112 days he has already spent behind bars. He is scheduled stay in jail for at least 10 days before being assigned to a prison.
Earlier, Sandusky told Penn State student radio station ComRadio his conviction for sexually assaulting 10 boys — all of them children from disadvantaged homes — was part of a “well-orchestrated” conspiracy, started by “dramatic” assertions of a young accuser who was joined by the media and the criminal justice system.
“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,” Sandusky said from a local jail where he has been awaiting sentencing since his June 22 conviction. “In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.”
Sandusky attorney Karl Rominger confirmed the recording’s authenticity.
Sandusky’s assertions in the recording came the same day his defense team said it would abandon plans to plead for leniency at the hearing and instead focus on appealing his conviction, the Inquirer said.
In the recording, Sandusky blamed his legal troubles on a young man designated by the state grand jury as “Victim 1,” a former participant in Sandusky’s Second Mile charity for troubled youth.
“A young man who is dramatic and a veteran accuser and always sought attention started everything,” the former coach said. “He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the [criminal justice] system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers.
“They’ve won,” he said. “I’ve wondered what they’ve really won. Attention, financial gain, prestige will all be temporary.”
Sandusky said: “Over and over, I asked, why? Why didn’t we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations? What’s the purpose? Maybe it will help others — some vulnerable children who could be abused might not be as a result of all the publicity. That would be nice, but I’m not sure.”