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Jerry Sandusky sentenced 30-60 years in prison in child sex-abuse case

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Former assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison Tuesday. The sentence effectively means the 68-year-old Sandusky will likely die in prison.

The judge could have given Sandusky as little as 10 years to as many as 440 years in prison. In the end the judge said 30 to 60 years will "put you in prison for the rest of your life."

"The judge could have gratuitously given him 100 years to 200 years, 150 to 300," said Karl Rominger, Sandusky's attorney. "I think the judge was sending a message that while what was done was serious and it required retribution, it didn't require gratuitous retribution and I think he balanced out all the good that Jerry's done."

Accompanied by sheriff's deputies, a smiling Sandusky arrived at the Pennsylvania courthouse Tuesday wearing a red prison jumpsuit and clutching the statement he read in court. Inside, he gave a rambling speech -- denying the allegations, talking about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family. His attorney and wife were present.

The statement he gave in court echoed a statement he recorded that was aired on Penn State radio Monday night. In the recording, Sandusky denied taking part in what he called "these disgusting acts." He says his wife Dottie has been his only sex partner and that he is a victim of conspiracy.

"A young man who was dramatic, a veteran accuser and always sought attention, started everything. He was joined 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, will all be temporary," Sandusky said.

Prosecutors said the statement Saundsky made in court Tuesday showed he was out of touch with the case.

"He displayed deviance, narcissism, a lack of feeling for the pain he caused others and to the end an unwillingness to accept responsibility," said lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan.

Three victims read impact statements during Tuesday's hearing. One said:

"I am troubled with flashbacks of his naked body, something that will never be erased from my memory. Jerry has harmed children, of which I am one of them."

A few hours before the hearing, another victim released a statement:

"I hope and pray that when Your Honor sentences Mr. Sandusky that you consider the real harm he has done to me and others, and take into account the tears, pain and private anguish I and others have suffered."

Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse this summer after a trial that lasted about three weeks. Victims took the stand and described in sometimes graphic detail how Sandusky would molest them in his basement, in hotel rooms and showers at Penn State. Sandusky's wife and several people who benefited from his Second Mile charity testified in his defense.

Sandusky will now go through an extensive evaluation that could last weeks or months to determine which state prison he will be housed in. Sandusky's defense team says they will file their appeal within 10 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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