Jerry Sandusky Will Declare Innocence at Sentencing Tuesday
UPDATE: Jerry Sandusky released a recorded statement Monday night declaring his innocence. In the three-minute statement, the former Penn State football defensive coordinator urged people to “evaluate the accusers and their families, realize they didn’t come out of isolation,” suggesting that their claims were motivated by fame or monetary reasons. You can listen to the entire jailhouse statement here.
(BELLEFONTE, Pa.) — Jerry Sandusky didn’t take the stand during his child sex abuse trial last summer, but he will at his sentencing to declare that he is innocent of the 45 verdicts finding him guilty, his lawyer said Monday.
The former Penn State defensive coordinator faces anywhere from 10 years to more than 400 years in prison when Judge John Clelands hands down his sentence at the end of Tuesday’s hearing. At age 68, any significant sentence could mean life in prison for the former Penn State defensive coordinator.
Before Cleland decides on prison time, however, Sandusky and his victims will both have the opportunity to make statements.
According to defense attorney Joe Amendola, Sandusky so regretted not taking the stand during his trial that he is anxious to speak directly to the court Tuesday.
Sandusky’s family members have also written letters to the judge on his behalf, Amendola said. Sandusky’s wife Dottie, who has insisted on his innocence throughout the trial, will be present in the courtroom, Amendola said.
Victim 5, who was approached from behind by Jerry in the shower in the Penn State locker rooms, is expected to testify. Sandusky lifted the boy up to the shower head and held him around his stomach, though Victim 5 said during the trial he doesn’t remember any sexual abuse.
The statements from both Sandusky and the victim will follow a 9 a.m. hearing to determine whether Sandusky will be classified a sexually violent predator. If he is found to be sexually violent, he will be mandated to register as a sex offender if ever released from prison.
After Cleland decides Sandusky’s status as a sexual predator, and hears the testimony from both sides, he will decide on a sentence. He could choose to sentence Sandusky to as few as 10 years in prison if he orders concurrent prison time, in which Sandusky would serve the sentence for each count at the same time.
But if Cleland instead chooses to sentence him to consecutive terms, Sandusky could face more than 400 years in prison.
Sandusky will undergo extensive evaluations after sentencing, including his medical and mental health needs, health care, security level, and program needs, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
Sandusky’s security will likely be an issue as authorities decide where to place him in the state prison population, as his case could make him a target for other inmates.
There are 25 prisons for men in Pennsylvania that Sandusky could be sent to, none of which have a special housing unit or facility for sex offenders, the department said.
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