BELLEFONTE — Jerry Sandusky gave a statement in court Tuesday morning and he’s still claiming his innocence.
Some of the victims also spoke in court. At times, they were very emotional in describing how Sandusky ruined their lives.
Sandusky stood to get more than a century behind bars — instead he’ll serve between 30 and 60 years. The judge says it amounts to a life sentence.
Even after hearing from four victims who say Sandusky ruined their lives, he stood in court for the last time and proclaimed his innocence.
Filled with emotion, and clad in jail-suit red, Jerry Sandusky spoke for more than 10 minutes near the end of his sentencing hearing at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte.
The former Penn state coaching great was arrested 11 months ago and charged with heinous crimes against children. He immediately went on the defense saying he was innocent.
Then in June — a jury convicted Sandusky on 45 counts related to child sexual abuse. To this day, the man who sexually abused ten boys says he didn’t do it.
“Others can take my life. They can make me out as a monster. They can treat me as a monster. They can`t take away my heart. In my heart i know i did not do these disgusting acts,” said Sandusky during his statement.
Hoping for a lighter sentence — Jerry Sandusky told the judge he still sees himself throwing thousands of kids from his charity — the Second Mile — into the air, and having water balloon fights.
The Second Mile is the same charity prosecutors say doubled as a victim-factory for Sandusky.
“He displayed the same cowardice that he displayed when he preyed on children. He displayed it when he sat through the trial, as is his right and remained silent and smirked, he displayed the same cowardice as he spoke today,” said Joe McGettigan, the state’s prosecutor.
Defense attorneys say Sandusky wanted to use his statement to talk about the so-called accusers and make the case that he was treated unfairly.
Instead, the judge’s ground rules made it clear a jury convicted him and nothing Sandusky could say at sentencing could change that.
“It’s not about ‘I’m innocent,’ because the jury obviously decided he was guilty. I had the duty of going back to Jerry and saying if you start talking about the stuff you’d written, the judge is going to cut you off. so he rewrote his statement last night, in rewriting it, it didn’t have the same context it would have had,” said Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s attorney.
Sandusky’s attorneys say they have 10 days in which to file an appeal and they plan on doing just that.