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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Sandusky Sentenced on Child Abuse Charges

Jerry Sandusky delivered an emotional appeal to the court after his sentence was read. 

Former Penn State football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was sentenced Tuesday to a minimum of 30 years in prison after being found guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and molesting 10 boys over 15 years.

Jerry Sandusky booking photo
Jerry Sandusky booking photo

Eight of the boys Sandusky was found guilty of molesting testified at his trial and described the abuse they suffered.

" I am troubled with flashbacks of his naked body, something that will never be erased from my memory. Jerry has harmed children, of which I am one of them," said a victim who was 13 when he claimed he was forced to take a shower with the former coach. 

"I want you to know I don't forgive you and I don't know if I will ever forgive you. My only regret is that I didn't come forward sooner," said another victim who alleged he was raped by Sandusky during his years as a Penn State student.

Sandusky also spoke in court for approximately 15 minutes. He gave a rambling statement, in which he claimed his own innocence and blamed the media, university officials and prosecutors for conspiring against him. In the final moments of his testimony, Sandusky became emotional as he talked about missing his family. 

Judge John Cleland sentenced Sandusky to 30 to 60 years in prison with no possibility of parole until his minimum term of 30 years is up.

"You abused the trust of those who trusted you," said Cleland. "I'm not going to sentence you to centuries in prison, although the law will permit that." Cleland later commented during the sentencing that he expected Sandusky to die in prison.

Sandusky's case has created much controversy for Penn State including NCAA sanctions and the repeal of 14 years of victories for head coach Joe Paterno.

Penn State officials have announced that the university will try to settle as many claims as possible made about the school's handling of the allegations by the end of the year. At least four men have sued the university for the school's response to reports about Sandusky's lewd behavior.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson, released a statement in response to Sandusky's sentencing. 

"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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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