Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced this morning to at least 30 years in prison on 45 counts of child sexual abuse. He was found guilty of molesting 10 boys over the course of 15 years.
Sandusky maintained his innocence, releasing a statement that aired on Penn State's student-run radio station:
I’m responding to the worst loss of my life. First I looked at myself. Over and over, I asked why? Why didn’t we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations? What’s the purpose? Maybe it will help others. Some vulnerable children who could be abused might not be as a result of all the publicity. That would be nice, but I’m not sure about it. I would cherish the opportunity to become a candle for others as they have been a light for me.
They can take away my life, they can make me out as a monster, they can treat me as a monster, but they can't take away my heart. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged, disgusting acts. My wife has been my only sex partner and that was after marriage. Our love continues.
A young man who is dramatic and a veteran accuser and always sought attention started everything. He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won. I've wondered what they really won. Attention, financial gain, prestige will all be temporary.
Before you blame me, as others have, look at everything and everybody. Look at the preparation for the trial and the trial. Compare it to others. Think about what happened, why and who made it happen. Evaluate the accusers and their families. Realize they didn't come out of isolation. The accusers were products of many more people and experiences than me. Look at their confidants and their honesty. Think about how easy it was for them to turn on me given the information, attention, and potential perks. I never labeled or put down them or their families. I tried and I cared, then asked for the same. Please realize all came to the Second Mile because of issues. Some of those may remain.
We will continue to fight. We didn’t lose to proven facts, evidence, accurate locations, and times. Anything can be said. We lost to speculation and stories that were influenced by people who wanted to convict me. We must fight unfairness, inconsistency, and dishonesty. People need to be portrayed for who they really are. We’ve not been complainers. When we couldn’t have kids we adopted. When we didn’t have time to prepare for trial we still gave it our best. We will fight for another chance. We have given many second chances and now will ask for one.
It will take more than our effort. Justice will have to be more than just a word. Fairness be more than just a dream. It will take others. Somebody apolitical with the courage to listen, to think about the unfairness, to have the guts to stand up and take the road less traveled. I ask for the strength to handle everything and the willingness to surrender only to God regardless of the outcome.
Sandusky was in court this morning for sentencing as he also heard from his victims. Joining us is Anne Danahy, a reporter for the Centre Daily Times based in State College.