San­dusky re­ceives max­i­mum sen­tence again

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Bret Pallotto

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.

NA­BIL K. MARK/CEN­TRE DAILY TIMES FILE PHO­TO­GRAPH

Jerry San­dusky en­ters the Cen­tre County Court­house for a hear­ing on May 2, 2016, in Belle­fonte, Pa.

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