Bellefonte, PA – Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison for his conviction on charges of child sexual abuse.
Judge John M. Cleland handed down the sentence on Tuesday after Sandusky was found guilty in June on 45 counts charging him with sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period.
Sandusky will serve no less than 30 years and no more than 60 years in prison. It is essentially a life sentence for the 68-year-old Sandusky, who has always maintained his innocence and plans to appeal.
"You abused the trust of those who trusted you," Cleland told Sandusky on Tuesday. "These are not crimes committed against strangers."
The scandal, which broke last November with Sandusky's arrest, brought down the Penn State football program, tarnished the legacy of the late Joe Paterno and scarred the entire university.
"Our thoughts today, as they have been for the last year, go out to the victims of Jerry Sandusky's abuse," said Penn State president Rodney Erickson in a statement Tuesday. "While today's sentence cannot erase what has happened, hopefully it will provide comfort to those affected by these horrible events and help them continue down the road to recovery."
Sandusky arrived at Centre County courthouse on Tuesday in red jumpsuit. After a few victims made verbal statements and a few more victims' statements were read into the record, Sandusky was allowed to make a statement before Cleland handed down his sentence.
Some of Sandusky's statement in court Tuesday was similar to one that surfaced Monday night and was obtained by Penn State Com Radio and published by the Centre Daily Times.
In the audiotape, Sandusky continued to proclaim his innocence.
"They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can't take away my heart," Sandusky says on the tape. "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," Sandusky continued. "Our love continues. A young man who was dramatic, 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.
"We will continue to fight," he added. "We didn't lose the 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 and consistency and dishonesty."
Sandusky, who was also labeled as a sexually violent predator, was led away from the court in handcuffs after the hearing. He has already served 112 days of the prison sentence in county jail while awaiting his sentencing.