The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

October 10, 2012

Sandusky gets at least 30 years, denies wrongdoing

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — 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.”

With his accusers seated behind him in the courtroom, he denied committing “disgusting acts” 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,” 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.”

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,” 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.”

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.”

“I’ve been left with deep painful wounds that you caused and had been buried in the garden of my heart for many years,” 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,” 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.”

“It was entirely self-focused as if he, again, were the victim,” 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.”

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.

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Lower-income teens don’t get enough sleep

    African-American high school students and boys in low- to middle-income families reported short, fragmented sleep, and that could play a role in their health risks, researchers reported Monday.
     

    April 23, 2014

  • Health agencies try to counter mumps outbreak

    Health agencies trying to stem a large and growing mumps outbreak are advising college, school and even day care leaders to make sure central Ohio students are immunized and to separate them from those who haven’t been vaccinated and those who are infected.
     

    April 23, 2014

  • An ocean of broken hearts

    Lee Byung-soo says he knew, when he saw his 15-year-old son’s body in the tent. It could not have been more horrifically obvious. But he wanted so much for him to be alive.

    April 22, 2014

  • Biden conferring with Ukranian leader over what to do
    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev on Monday for talks with Ukraine’s embattled interim leaders as Russia’s top diplomat blamed Washington for instigating the crisis that threatens to escalate into armed conflict between the two former Soviet republics.
     

    April 22, 2014

  • Panel’s role in Cleveland police ruling questioned

    A lawyer for families of men killed in separate 2012 shootings by Cleveland police — including a 137-bullet chase under federal investigation — is questioning a grand jury’s role in a recent county prosecutor’s ruling.

    April 21, 2014

  • Gender gap under Ohio governor nearly $10 an hour

    A newspaper investigation has found the average pay gap between men and women in the offices of four of Ohio’s five elected statewide officials has grown to as much as almost $10 an hour, as it’s shrunk to under a dollar across the rest of state government.

    April 21, 2014

  • OBIT Rubin Carter Box_Lind.jpg Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76

    Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, died Sunday. He was 76.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • MAG-kramer25p-Janae-O-Neal.jpg Kramer the labradoodle soothes students, staff at middle school

    Once upon a time there was a dog that went to middle school.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ohio sees record high heroin overdose deaths

    A record number of Ohioans died from heroin-related overdoses in 2012, the state Department of Health said as it released the newest available figures for a problem that’s been called an epidemic and a public health crisis.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Ohio’s jobless rate dips to 6.1 percent in March

    Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped in March to 6.1 percent, its lowest level in six years, according to state job figures released Friday.

    April 19, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video