In a likely preview of further comments to come, Jerry Sandusky released a defiant and delusional audio statement from the Centre County Correctional Facility on Monday, blasting the system, the prosecution and begging people with "the courage to listen" to "evaluate the accusers and their families."
Sandusky, 68, will be sentenced Tuesday at Centre County Court. In June he was found guilty of 45 counts of child molestation involving 10 boys over a 15-year period. The former Penn State defensive coordinator faces up to 442 years in prison.
Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, said Sandusky will speak at his sentencing Tuesday from prepared remarks written during his time in jail. The expectation is Sandusky will talk for 10 to 15 minutes. The statement released Monday on Penn State's ComRadio was simply a preview.
If so, Sandusky will likely further enrage a community that already cheered his conviction after he used his fame, the allure of the Penn State football program and his role with the Second Mile charity for disadvantaged youth to terrorize children for decades.
"I'm responding to the worst loss of my life," Sandusky said in the interview, which was confirmed as authentic via the Twitter account of one of Sandusky's attorneys, Karl Rominger.
"First, I looked at myself," Sandusky continued. "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 because 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 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. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts."
Sandusky has always maintained his innocence and plans to appeal his convictions. According to his defense team, the appeal case will center on a rush to trial by the state that left Sandusky's lawyers overwhelmed by the mountain of evidence and incapable of preparing for witnesses or providing a reasonable defense.
Sandusky's attorneys did appear ill-prepared during the trial. Sill, even Amendola acknowledged the state's evidence was so overwhelming that it was like climbing "Mt. Everest."
Furthermore, Sandusky was unable to take the stand in his own defense after one of his adoptive sons, Matt, approached the prosecution in midtrial alleging he, too, was abused by his father. Matt's allegations were not included in the trial.
In Monday's statement, Sandusky complained that the trial was unfair.
"When we didn't have time to prepare for a trial, we still gave it our best," Sandusky said. "We will fight for another chance. We have given many second chances, and now we'll ask for one."
Sandusky particularly went after Victim No. 1, an area boy who told his mother and school authorities about repeated acts of sexual abuse by Sandusky. His testimony sparked a widespread, three-year look into the case that identified additional victims. Sandusky pegged Victim No. 1 as an ungrateful attention-seeker whose false allegations led to a widespread conspiracy to target Sandusky.
That was also the basis of Sandusky's June defense, and he continued to argue Monday that money-hungry accusers teamed with overzealous police and media to take him down. That premise was thoroughly rejected by the jury.
"A young man who was dramatic, a veteran accuser, and always sought attention, started everything," Sandusky said. "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?"
Sandusky went on to attack the credibility of the accusers and their families, noting most came from poor and troubled backgrounds. The state argued that Sandusky used Second Mile to draw in poor young men – who often lacked father figures – where he could easily win them over with gifts, attention and access to the legendary Penn State football program.
"Evaluate the accusers and their families," he said. "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."
Sandusky finally took on the role of martyr in his interview, arguing that he can be the centerpiece of a cause to "fight unfairness and consistency and dishonesty."
"It will take more than our effort," he said. "Justice will have to be more than just a word; fairness 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 willingness to surrender only to God, regardless of the outcome."
The statement is shocking only to those who didn't study and understand Sandusky's mentality throughout the trial. He is dismissive of the charges and truly believes that he caused good in the victim's lives.
More than three months in solitary confinement at the county jail has done little to change that. If anything, Sandusky is even more hardened in his beliefs.
This sets the stage for an explosive sentencing on Tuesday. Judge John Cleland will, no doubt, put Sandusky away for the rest of his natural life whether the sentence is 40 or 400 years.
Sandusky, however, will have the right to address the court. If he expresses these same thoughts – only longer and with additional detail – in front of some of the victims, their families and the prosecutors that convicted him, it will be an extremely emotional conclusion to what was already an intense case and trial.
Jerry Sandusky isn't going quietly off to prison. He's going to let everyone know the depth of depravity.
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