Jerry Sandusky, a longtime assistant to head coach Joe Paterno as part of the Penn State football program, received a sentence today of 30 to 60 years in prison for child sexual abuse, NBC News reports.
“Sandusky — who was defensive coordinator and for many years the presumed heir-apparent to legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno — could have faced as long as 400 years for his convictions on 45 counts of child sexual abuse,” the story reports. “But McKean County Common Pleas Court Judge John Cleland, who was brought in to hear the trial after all of Centre County’s judges recused themselves, told Sandusky that at age 68, he would be in prison ‘for the rest of your life.’"
Said Cleland: "The crime is not only what you did to their bodies but to their psyches and their souls and the assault to the well-being of the larger community in which we all live."
Sandusky attorney Joe Amendola said he would file an appeal within 10 days, adding that he didn’t have time to ready a proper defense.
“Four of Sandusky’s victims and the mother of a fifth addressed the court, some of them speaking tearfully to Sandusky,” the report adds. “They told of how they had looked up at Sandusky as a mentor, only to have him betray their trust.”
Said one victim, addressing Sandusky: "You were the person in my life who was supposed to be a role model, teach honor, respect and accountability, and instead you did terrible things that screwed up my life.
"You had the chance to plead guilty and spare us the testimony. Rather than take the accountability, you decided to try to attack us as if we had done something wrong."
Sandusky continued to claim innocence, telling the court: “I didn’t do these alleged disgusting acts,” the story reports.