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Tue October 9, 2012
Sandusky Sentenced For Penn State Assaults
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And here's another story we've been following throughout the morning: Jerry Sandusky was sentenced today to at least 30 years in prison. The former Penn State assistant football coach was convicted in June, of sexually abusing 10 boys. NPR's Jeff Brady was in the Pennsylvania courtroom today. He joins us now. Jeff, what's the sentence? More details.
JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Well, the sentence is no less than 30 years, no more than 60 years. The judge says he could have delivered a sentence of several hundred years, but he wanted to send a clear message that this was a life term for Jerry Sandusky. The judge said he knew he was talking to a 68-year-old man and a sentence of, you know, dozens and dozens of years could lose its meaning. And he just wanted to make sure that this was going to be a life sentence for Jerry Sandusky; a minimum of 30 years, a maximum of 60 years.
INSKEEP: I just want to make sure I understand this, and it may get a little intricate. Sometimes, when you hear minimum 30 years, actually the inmate can get out a little sooner, or a lot sooner. Are you saying, there's no possibility of release in less than 30 years?
BRADY: I would - there is virtually no way that Jerry Sandusky is going to get out of prison before he dies a natural death - or otherwise. He is in prison for the rest of his life. This is what people expected. He could have been sentenced to - I've heard figures up to 373 years, but the judge said 30 to 60 years. You're a 68-year-old man. This is a life sentence for you.
INSKEEP: If you're just joining us, we're listening to NPR's Jeff Brady, in Pennsylvania. And because the phone line is a little rough, I'm just going to repeat that Jerry Sandusky has been sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison, for sexually abusing 10 boys. Now, did Sandusky talk to the court as he was sentenced, Jeff Brady?
BRADY: Yes. Jerry Sandusky did address the court. And he echoed an audio statement that was released of him last night. But he also expanded on that. And that statement itself became an issue during the sentencing hearing today. The judge was clearly not pleased that he was out there talking, and being widely reported as saying that he's innocent and doesn't believe that he got a fair trial. And that really brings us to the next issue - which is, Jerry Sandusky's attorney is talking right now along the front steps of the courthouse. And he says they are, at this minute, preparing their appeal.
INSKEEP: One of the things that he said, in that recorded statement before the sentencing, was: "In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts." You're saying he repeated that, and expanded upon it, in the courtroom?
BRADY: He did repeat that, and expanded on it in the courtroom. We also heard from two of the victims in this case; and they delivered very compelling statements that clearly, weighed on the judge as he delivered his sentence. One of the victims - victim number five read a statement. He never looked a Sandusky, but he says his religion is now helping him to recover, but he still suffers from anxiety and PTSD and depression.
Another one looked directly at Jerry Sandusky, and said to him: "You could have spared us this awful experience of testifying at trial, by pleading guilty from the beginning, because" - this victim said - "you know, and I know, that you're guilty.
INSKEEP: These are victims who were boys, at the time of the assaults; but are adults now - to be clear - right?
BRADY: Yes, exactly. These were young men who got up - one of them, you could tell; this was - he's a tall, young, fit man, and as he was walking back to his chair, his steps just kind of faltered...
BRADY: ...with his sobbing. It was very sad to watch.
INSKEEP: OK. Jeff, thanks very much.
BRADY: Thank you.
INSKEEP: That's NPR's Jeff Brady in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach, has been sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.