Sandusky receives maximum sentence again
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Former Penn State Nittany Lions assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced Friday to at least 30 years in state prison for crimes that have cost the university more than $100 million and prompted changes to state law.
The resentencing hearing was his first visit to the Centre County Courthouse since May 2017. He donned an ochre state prison jumpsuit — a modest change from his red Centre County Correctional Facility jumpsuit — and told reporters he “absolutely” maintains his innocence.
“I apologize that I’m unable to admit remorse for this because it’s something I didn’t do,” Sandusky said. “... No matter what, nobody or nothing will ever be able to take away what’s in my heart.”
Sandusky was found guilty in June 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, convicted of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period. The state Superior Court in February ruled mandatory minimums were improperly applied in 2012 and ordered a new sentencing.
He met many of the boys he abused through The Second Mile, a now-defunct program he founded for at-risk children. He methodically built their trust by offering his attention and involved them in the university’s revered football culture, a grand jury found.
None of those abused by Sandusky addressed Warren and Forest County President Judge Maureen Skerda, who issued a maximum sentence of 60 years — effectively upholding the sentence Sandusky received in 2012. He received credit for more than seven years served.
State victim advocate Jennifer Storm instead read statements from five of those molested by Sandusky. They spoke of humiliation, an inability to trust others and attempted suicides.
“You have destroyed my family. I cannot forgive you for that . ... You have damaged and hurt so many people,” Storm read on behalf of victim No. 9’s mother. “Shame on you. Shame on you, Mr. Sandusky, for you selfish, narcissistic acts.”
Their statements came after Sandusky’s lawyer, Al Lindsay, said he still hopes for a new trial so Sandusky can be exonerated. He called the hearing one of the most important in his 48-year career.
Sandusky’s November 2011 arrest prompted the university to fire Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno and the ousting of then-university President Graham Spanier.
Former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Vice President Gary Schultz, two of Spanier’s top administrators, were charged over their response to reports of sexual abuse by Sandusky.
Both pleaded guilty to child endangerment in March 2017 for failing to notify authorities in 2001 of a report about Sandusky and a boy in a team shower. Each served jail sentences.
Jerry Sandusky enters the Centre County Courthouse for a hearing on May 2, 2016, in Bellefonte, Pa.