Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State assistant football coach, to be sentenced in child sex abuse case

10:23 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
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  • Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach charged with sexually abusing boys, leaves the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., on Dec. 13, 2011, after waiving his preliminary hearing. (AP/Matt Rourke)

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WUSA) - In Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, it's the eve of the sentencing of former Penn State assistant football coach and charity founder Jerry Sandusky.

In June, a jury convicted Sandusky of 45 counts of child sex abuse.
At the Centre County Courthouse, a judge will hand down the sentence on Tuesday.

On Monday evening,  there are two key questions: What will Jerry Sandusky's sentence be, and what will he say in court tomorrow?

Judge John Cleland met behind closed doors Monday afternoon with prosecutors and Sandusky's defense team, including Joseph Amendola, Sandusky's attorney, to prepare for the sentencing.

Although the 68 year-old Sandusky did not take the stand at his trial, he is expected to testify at his sentencing hearing Tuesday morning and maintain his innocence.

The former Penn State coaching legend and founder of the now-defunct Second Mile charity for at-risk youth now faces a minimum of ten years in prison to a sentence of more than 218 years.

"We believe he deserves the maximum. Not to be punitive, honestly, but to be preventive. Someone who is clearly as unrepentant as Jerry Sandusky will no doubt continue to be a threat to children until the day he dies. So he has to be locked up,"said David Clohessy of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).

At least two of his ten victims are also expected to testify about how the abuse by the man they trusted has impacted their lives.

"This is the beginning, and not the end," Clohessy said. "There are still three other former Penn State officials who face criminal charges. And we want the prosecutors to be just as vigorous pursuing them as they were pursuing Sandusky."

Right before the sentencing, a state assessment board will report to the judge on whether it deems Sandusky a sexually violent predator. If so, he would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life if he ever gets out of prison.

Dozens of letters will be presented in court in support of Sandusky tomorrow, including ones from his wife Dottie, five of his six adopted children, former football players, and children who benefitted from his Second Mile charity.

Several jurors have said they hope Sandusky gets life in prison. Sandusky's lawyers confirm that they will appeal, arguing that they did not have sufficient time to prepare for the high-profile case.

Tuesday's sentencing hearing begins at 9 a.m. A total of 85 seats have been set aside in the courtroom for members of the public.

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