The victims in the Sandusky case are to be admired for bravely standing up to give their victim impact statements at sentencing today. It can’t ever be easy to share such pain openly in court, especially given the fact that most of the world has been following this case.
Jerry Sandusky, maintaining his innocence, was sentenced October 9th to at least 30 years in prison — effectively a life sentence — in the child sexual abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State. Sandusky remained defiant giving a rambling statement in which he denied the allegations and talked about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family.
‘‘I’ve forgiven, I’ve been forgiven. I’ve comforted others, I’ve been comforted. I’ve been kissed by dogs, I’ve been bit by dogs,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve conformed, I’ve also been different. I’ve been me. I’ve been loved, I’ve been hated.’’
The 68-year-old former Penn State assistant coach was found guilty in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, convicted of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period. Witnesses said Sandusky used the charitable organization he founded for troubled children as his personal hunting ground to find and groom boys to become his victims.
This case has brought increased public awareness to the issue of child sexual abuse; particularly against boys and within sporting organizations. Does Sandusky’s sentence adequately reflect the harm inflicted? Probably not, but at least he will likely remain in prison for the rest of his life so he can’t pray on other innocent boys.