Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, shown arriving at court during his trial in June, is expected back in court Tuesday for a sentencing hearing.
Jerry Sandusky is expected back in a Bellefonte, Pa., courtroom Tuesday for a sentencing hearing. The former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys. Now young men, some of the victims will be given an opportunity to tell the court how the abuse affected their lives.
Sandusky has been in a county jail since the jury convicted him on 45 out of 48 counts, but after the hearing, he likely will be moved to a state prison.
“He is going to die in prison,” predicts Barbara Ashcroft, a Temple University law professor and former sex crimes prosecutor.
Sandusky is 68 years old, so just about any sentence he receives will keep him locked up for the rest of his life.
“He’s potentially looking at 373 years in prison if the judge sentences him for all the counts he’s been found guilty of,” Ashcroft says.
A student-run web site at Penn State released a recording Monday night. A voice that sounds like Jerry Sandusky’s says what he’s maintained all along — that he’s innocent. NPR could not verify the authenticity of the recording.
The statement also blames one of the the victims in the case for the scandal. It goes on to fault the media, Penn State, investigators and psychologists for joining in.
At Monday’s hearing, some are hoping Sandusky will speak before the judge. Chris Anderson heads MaleSurvivor, an advocacy group for male sexual abuse victims.
“We didn’t get to hear him speak at the trial,” says Chris Anderson, executive director of MaleSurvivor, an advocacy group for male sexual abuse victims. “I would like to hear what he has to say for himself.”
Anderson also is following Penn State’s reaction to the Sandusky scandal. This summer, a university-commissioned report blasted the school for a culture that allowed Sandusky to abuse children without being reported to police. That prompted the NCAA to levy harsh penalties, including a $60 million fine.
A former athletic director and vice president still face charges of perjury and failure to report child abuse. University administrators are reviewing and changing Penn State’s policies, and the school has launched a campaign to repair its battered reputation.
Penn State still faces lawsuits from Sandusky’s victims and is trying to settle those cases out of court. Anderson, of MaleSurvivor, has some advice: “Doing right by a survivor isn’t simply finding out what the right dollar figure is and signing a check and closing the door on that person,” he says.
Anderson believes Penn State has done a pretty good job responding to the scandal so far. But long after Sandusky is sentenced and locked away in prison, Anderson hopes the school will make sure Sandusky’s victims get the help they need for as long as they need it.