Sandusky gets at least 30 years, denies wrongdoing

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: October 9, 2012
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After the sentencing, prosecutor Joe McGettigan praised the victims' courage and dismissed Sandusky's comments as "a masterpiece of banal self-delusion, completely untethered from reality and without any acceptance of responsibility."

"It was entirely self-focused as if he, again, were the victim," McGettigan said.

Lawyers for the victims said they were satisfied with the sentence, but with four lawsuits brought against Penn State and several more expected, and Penn State laboring under severe NCAA penalties, cleaning up in the wake of what may be the biggest scandal in college sports history may take years.

Ben Andreozzi, an attorney for one the victims, said the university needs to do more: "It's important they understand before we get into serious discussions about money, that there are other, noneconomic issues. We need apologies. We need changes in policy. This isn't just about money."

Penn State fired Paterno after Sandusky's arrest, and the coach died of lung cancer three months later. The scandal also brought down university President Graham Spanier.

Two university administrators, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, are awaiting trial in January on charges they failed to properly report suspicions about Sandusky and lied to the grand jury that investigated him.

Over the summer, an investigation commissioned by Penn State and led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh concluded that Paterno and other top officials covered up allegations against Sandusky for more than a decade to avoid bad publicity.

After the report came out, the NCAA fined Penn State a record $60 million, barred the football team from postseason play for four years, cut the number of scholarships it can award, and erased 14 years of victories for Paterno, stripping him of his standing as the winningest coach in the history of big-time college football.

In a three-minute recorded statement aired Monday night by Penn State radio, Sandusky described himself as the victim of a "well-orchestrated effort" by his accusers, the media, Penn State, plaintiffs' attorneys and others — a claim the judge dismissed on Tuesday as an unbelievable conspiracy theory.

"I speak today with hope in my heart for a brighter day, not knowing if that day will come," Sandusky said. "Many moments have been spent looking for a purpose. Maybe it will help others, some vulnerable children who might have been abused, might not be, as a result of the publicity."

After the sentencing, Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a statement: "Our thoughts today, as they have been for the last year, go out to the victims of Jerry Sandusky's abuse. While today's sentence cannot erase what has happened, hopefully it will provide comfort to those affected by these horrible events."