(BELLEFONTE, Pa.) — Before Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison, his wife wrote an indignant letter to the judge criticizing her husband’s accusers, particularly their adopted son Matt.
“As far as our son Matt goes, people need to know what kind of person he is,” Dottie Sandusky wrote in a letter to Judge John Cleland ahead of sentencing.
Dottie Sandusky was referring to Matt Sandusky, who was adopted by the couple when he was a teenager and who, in the middle of his adoptive father’s sex abuse trial, told prosecutors that he too had been molested.
“We have forgiven him many times for all he has done to our family thinking that he was changing his life, but he would always go back to his stealing and lies,” Mrs. Sandusky wrote.
Matt Sandusky, one of six children adopted by the couple, defended his father during the investigation, but abruptly changed his statement and offered to testify against his adoptive dad once the trial began.
Dottie claimed that their youngest son, Matt, was bipolar, has had multiple run-ins with the law, and has stolen money from the Sandusky family, though she said she still loves him. Matt Sandusky was not able to be reached for comment.
Mrs. Sandusky’s letter as well as a letter written by Jerry Sandusky were written as part of an appeal for leniency by the Sandusky family ahead of sentencing on Tuesday. Jerry Sandusky read a version of his statement aloud in court, as did some of his victims, who recounted their emotional trauma resulting from Sandusky’s abuse.
Despite the Sandusky’s letters, Cleland ordered Sandusky to prison for 30 to 60 years, tantamount to a life sentence for the 68-year-old former Penn State football coach.
Jerry Sandusky’s two-and-a-half page statement, which closely resembled his oral statement in court, outlined a conspiracy Sandusky saw being orchestrated among his victims, the victims’ parents, the police, court system, and media.
“First, I looked at me, my vulnerability, my naivety [sic] (some say stupidity) and my trust in people,” he wrote. “There were so many people involved in the orchestration of this conviction (media, investigators, prosecutors, ‘the system,’ Penn State, and the accused),” he wrote. “It was well done. They won!”
Sandusky afforded extra attention to the victims’ parents, whom he saw as the real cause of his victims’ emotional and behavioral problems.
“I have been blamed for all of (the victims’) failures and shortcomings, but nobody mentioned the impact of the people who spent much more time with them than I did. Nobody mentioned the impact of abandonment, neglect, abuse, insecurity, and conflicting messages that the biological parents might have had in this,” he said.
Sandusky said in his letter that he had found inspiration in books about persecution, including that of a Rwandan genocide survivor. He compared himself to David in the biblical tale of David and Goliath, and said he failed to pick up a sling shot to fight the bigger Goliath.
Sandusky and his victims read statements in court ahead of the sentencing decision, while letters by Dottie and other Sandusky family members were submitted ahead of time.
During sentencing, Cleland told Sandusky that his continued denial of wrongdoing made him a danger to the community.
“The ultimate tragedy of this situation is that … you have continued to conceal the very vices that have led to your downfall,” Cleland said before handing down the sentence.
Sandusky has been sent to Camp Hill state prison for mental and physical evaluation before he is permanently placed in a different state prison.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire