Sandusky Sentenced in Penn State Sex Abuse Case

Reply Tue 9 Oct, 2012 08:46 am
Sandusky Sentenced in Penn State Sex Abuse Case
Published: October 9, 2012
New York Times

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrived at the Centre County Courthouse for a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, in Bellefonte, Pa.

The ruling was handed down in Centre County Court by Judge John Cleland, and it essentially guaranteed that Sandusky, 68, would die in prison. The sentencing came roughly three and a half months after a jury found him guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Sandusky, the jury determined, had abused 10 young boys, all of them from disadvantaged homes. Sandusky used his connections to the Penn State football program, as well as his own charity for disadvantaged youth, the Second Mile, to identify potential victims, get close to them and then sexually violate them.

In a recorded statement broadcast on a Penn State radio station Monday night, a defiant Sandusky said: “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. 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.”

Sandusky arrived at the court Tuesday dressed in a red prison outfit and looking thinner than he had at his trial. He spoke before the sentence was handed down, again denying that he had abused the young boys.

Sandusky’s crimes have exacted a tremendous toll on Penn State. Within days of the grand jury indictment of Sandusky being made public in November 2011, Joe Paterno, the football team’s famed head coach and a patriarchal figure at the university, was fired. He had been alerted to at least one of Sandusky’s attacks on a boy. Within months, Paterno was dead of cancer at age 85.

The university’s president, Graham B. Spanier, was also dismissed, and the Penn State community found itself confronting the idea that it had placed the interests of its football team above concern for at-risk children.

A seven-month investigation conducted by Louis J. Freeh, a former director of the F.B.I., determined that Penn State’s leaders — most prominently Spanier; Paterno; the former university vice president Gary Schultz; and the athletic director Tim Curley — disregarded the welfare of Sandusky’s victims.

Freeh’s report drew on 430 interviews and a review of more than three million e-mails. But when it was released in July, after Sandusky had been convicted, some Penn State supporters, including Paterno’s family, viewed it as a flawed and incomplete rendering of what happened, not as binding fact.

The N.C.A.A., relying on the Freeh report, fined the university $60 million and imposed a four-year postseason ban and a hefty scholarship reduction on the football team. It also vacated all football victories since 1998, when the sexual assaults documented in the grand jury indictment against Sandusky were believed to have begun. That means that Paterno no longer has the most career coaching victories in major college football.

Though Sandusky will now almost certainly spend the rest of his life in prison, the larger case is far from settled. Four of Sandusky’s victims are suing the university. Victim 1, as he has been called in court, has written a book set to be released Oct. 23.

Mike McQueary, the former assistant coach who testified to seeing Sandusky sexually abuse a boy in the shower on Penn State’s campus in 2001, sued the university last week for misrepresentation and defamation, saying the university had mistreated him since Sandusky’s actions became public. McQueary had reported the incident to Paterno, who was faulted for not responding aggressively, and other Penn State officials.

Curley, who is on leave, and Schultz, a former senior vice president, are scheduled to stand trial in January on charges of perjury and failing to report child sex abuse, relating to the incident McQueary reported in 2001. Last month Schultz and Curley asked to be tried separately, and both have pleaded not guilty.
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Reply Tue 9 Oct, 2012 08:52 am
Jerry Sandusky sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison
By Jenna Johnson - Washington Post
October 9, 2012

BELLEFONTE, Pa.— Jerry Sandusky, the legendary former Penn State University assistant football coach who is now a convicted child molester, was sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison for sexually abusing a series of young boys over more than a decade.

At 10:09 a.m., Sandusky stood at the front of the courtroom in a bright red jumpsuit with his back to his wife and four of his children. Judge John M. Cleland told the 68-year old that the sentence of at least 30 years, but not more than 60 years, meant he would be in prison “for the rest of your life.” Sandusky looked down for a moment, then back at the judge. The courtroom was quiet.

Jerry Sandusky arrives at central Pa. courthouse for sentencing: Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrived at a central Pennsylvania courthouse for his sentencing on child sex abuse charges.

The sentencing took less than 90 minutes, but it provides yet another moment of closure for Sandusky’s victims, along with a community that has been stunned by one of the most devastating, high-profile scandals to hit higher education.

Sandusky's sentencing Tuesday follows a two-week trial in June, during which prosecutors told jurors about 10 prepubescent boys who had been sexually abused by Sandusky. Eight of those victims testified, often saying that they lacked a father figure while growing up and that Sandusky made them feel special, taking them to football games and introducing them to players for the storied program.

The abuse spanned more than a decade, according to trial testimony, and occurred in hotel rooms before football games, during trips to bowl games, in university locker-room showers and in a bedroom in Sandusky’s basement. Some of Penn State’s most powerful leaders, including former head football coach, the late Joe Paterno, have been accused of knowing about the abuse and not taking enough action to stop it.

On June 22, after two days of deliberations, the jury found Sandusky guilty of 45 of the 48 charges against him, which included several counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. Sandusky’s bail was immediately revoked, and he was jailed.

Ever since his arrest nearly a year ago, Sandusky has maintained his innocence — even as Penn State wiped its campus clean of his name, even as his supporters dwindled, even as eight victims emotionally testified against him and his adopted son went public with accusations of abuse, even as the guilty verdicts were read, even as he sat in a county jail for more than three months awaiting sentencing.

“They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can’t take away my heart. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts,” Sandusky said in a statement that was given to a Penn State student radio station, ComRadio, and broadcast Monday evening. Sandusky’s lead attorney has reportedly verified the authenticity of the statement to the local media.

Sandusky provided this version of events in the statement: “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.”

The idea of a conspiracy is one that Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, tried to convey to jurors during the trial. Amendola challenged the credibility of the victims, pointing out inconsistencies in their accounts, exposing problems in their pasts and questioning their motives.

The prosecution put eight of the 10 victims on the stand. The other two victims have never been identified, but jurors heard from those who witnessed or heard about the abuse.

Most of the victims are now grown men, so prosecutors showed photos of them as children. Each spoke emotionally about how Sandusky won their trust and then slowly became more physical. Some wept, others became frustrated with the questioning from the defense.

The ramifications of Sandusky’s actions are far-reaching. Investigators hired by Penn State concluded that some of the university’s most powerful leaders failed to protect children from being abused by Sandusky. The NCAA also investigated and issued a slew of unprecedented sanctions, including a $60 million fine that will be used to support victims of sexual assault.

Two Penn State officials, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have been charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse. Their trial is scheduled for January.

Days after Sandusky’s arrest, Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier lost their jobs, along with their sterling reputations. This summer the university removed an iconic statue of Paterno that once stood outside the football stadium.

Soon after Sandusky was convicted, Penn State released a statement saying it planned to “privately, expeditiously and fairly” address the concerns of Sandusky’s victims and compensate them.

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