Jerry Sandusky resentenced to 30 to 60 years on child sex abuse charges

Author: CBS/AP
Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, leaves the Centre County Courthouse after attending a resentencing hearing on his 45-count child sexual abuse conviction Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Jerry Sandusky was resentenced Friday to 30 to 60 years in prison, the same sentence he originally received in 2012 for a 45-count child molestation conviction. That amounts to effectively a life sentence for the 75-year-old former Penn State assistant football coach, who still insists he’s innocent.

The decision comes after a state appeals court this February turned down most of Sandusky’s arguments seeking a new trial, but said laws mandating sentence minimums in place at the time of his October 2012 sentencing had since changed.

Sandusky, dressed in a mustard yellow prison jumpsuit, smiled and waved at supporters as he walked into court Friday morning. When asked by CBS affiliate WTAJ if he maintained his innocence, he said, “Oh, absolutely.” He smiled again when the names of his 10 victims were read out, and again when some of the victims’ statements were read.

When it was time to make his statement to the court, he cried as he said, “To my supporters out there, I just want to say I love you.”

“I apologize that I’m unable to admit remorse for this because it’s something that I didn’t do,” Sandusky told Judge Maureen Skerda.

He told the judge about a recent phone call with an unnamed woman who formerly worked for The Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youth that he used to find and groom child victims.

Sandusky said the woman ended the phone call by telling him she loves him.

“No matter what, nobody or nothing will ever be able to take away what’s in my heart. And that was just one. There are many, many, many more,” he said, people he “had every opportunity to betray and didn’t.”

Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse in 2012. Skerda ticked off count after count, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and unlawful contact with minors.

Victims said at trial that Sandusky subjected them to a range of abuse, from grooming to violent attacks. A victim advocate read several letters to the judge on Friday from the men who testified at trial or their relatives.

The letters described the effect of their abuse as boys and in the years since, including anxiety, difficulty with family and social relationships and anger about what occurred.

One of them, described as Victim 4 in court records, said he does not forgive Sandusky and spoke of efforts to “attack us as if we had done something wrong.”

“We both know exactly what happened,” Victim 4 wrote. “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

Sandusky’s lawyers in October initiated a federal court action seeking a new trial or release from prison.

His November 2011 arrest prompted the firing of Hall of Fame head coach Joe Paterno and the ousting of then-university President Graham Spanier.

The university has subsequently paid more than $100 million to people who said they had been abused by Sandusky.

Anam Siddiq contributed to this report.

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