Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced today to at least 30 years in prison — likely the rest of his life — after being convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse, but he’s not ready to let the legal fight go. “A defiant Sandusky gave a long, rambling statement,” the AP reports, “in which he denied the allegations and talked about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family.” He gave a similar rant on the eve of his sentencing, in which he claimed to be the victim of a conspiracy by police, Penn State officials, and the media. “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. Our love continues,” Sandusky said.
“The tragedy of this crime is that it’s a story of betrayal. The most obvious aspect is your betrayal of 10 children,” said Judge John Cleland, who decided on between 30 and 60 years in prison for Sandusky. “I’m not going to sentence you to centuries in prison,” he added, “although the law will permit that.”
Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, said in an interview with NBC 10 Philadelphia yesterday that his biggest regret is allowing Bob Costas to conduct the infamous phone interview with his client on Rock Center. And yet that didn’t stop him from arranging for Sandusky to record a three-minute statement from jail, according to Reuters, denouncing those who’ve accused him of molesting at least ten boys over fifteen years. The recording (audio and transcript here) aired on Penn State’s student-run radio station on Monday evening, and includes Sandusky claiming he was set up:
A young man who is dramatic and 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.
He then urged the public to question the credibility of those who have testified against him:
Think about what happened, why and who made it happen. Evaluate the accusers and their families. Realize they didn’t come out of isolation. The accusers were products of many more people and experiences than me. Look at their confidants and their honesty. Think about how easy it was for them to turn on me given the information, attention, and potential perks. I never labeled or put down them or their families. I tried and I cared, then asked for the same. Please realize all came to the Second Mile because of issues. Some of those may remain.
“Dottie [his wife] and the five children are solidly behind Jerry,” said Amendola. As for their sixth child, he said after the trial started that Sandusky had abused him as well.
In his monologue last night, Sandusky also wondered why he didn’t have a “fair opportunity to prepare for trial” and vowed to keep fighting. Amendola said Sandusky plans to appeal on the grounds that he was denied due process and was looking forward to today’s hearing since it means he can start the appeals process.
“He really believes that he’s going to be vindicated” said Amendola. “He really anticipates he’s going to get another shot at this.”
This post has been updated throughout.