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PHOTOS: Jerry Sandusky Sentenced To At Least 30 Years

2:35 PM, Oct 9, 2012   |    comments
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BELLEFONTE, Pa. (WUSA) -- A judge sentenced former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on Tuesday morning to at least 30 years, but not more than 60 years on charges of child sexual abuse. That means the 68-year-old will be in prison until he's almost 100 years old.

Sandusky faced a minimum of 10 years in prison to a maximum sentence of more than 218 years.

Tuesday's sentencing hearing began at 9 a.m. and Sandusky arrived shortly before that time.

A total of 85 seats were set aside in the courtroom for members of the public. Andrea McCarren reported that dozens of spectators were in line at 8 a.m. to get into the courthouse.

Three victims were in court and one testified via a statement about depression, nightmares, embarrassment, and guilt after the sex assaults by Sandusky. Their families also struggled. A mother of one of the victims testified on Tuesday, saying, "He lost weight, sick a lot, didn't sleep, had trouble at school. I couldn't understand. I thought it was my fault." 

A victim told the judge before the sentence was read, "I hope you take into account the tears, pain and private anguish I, and others, have suffered."

During the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, the judge told the victims, "It is for your courage and not for your assault that you will be remembered." He added, "No cause for embarrassment or shame. His conduct is no fault of your own. As adults, you held him accountable."

Sandusky maintained his innocence following his conviction earlier this year on 45 counts of child sex abuse. He continued to maintain his innocence on Tuesday and although he didn't appear to show any emotion while the sentencing was read, he did break down in tears while he testified.

"I'm filled with emotion, determination. I didn't do these alleged disgusting acts," stated Sandusky.

He plans to appeal. "We will continue to fight. There's much to fight... Those who still believe in us are the ones who matter," he said.

He added, "My wife has been my only sex partner. And that after marriage... I tried to bring joy. I tried to make people laugh."

Victims of Sandusky also testified on Tuesday. One victim stated  that he couldn't forget the night "you said you were 'the tickle monster' so you could touch my 11-year-old body." 

Another victim who was assaulted in the shower said to Sandusky, "I realize just how much you manipulated me... to get me to think what you were doing was okay."

Some expressed the difficulty processing what happened to them as children.  "He called it 'horse play' and only later did I understand this was sex assault...[I'm] troubled by flashbacks of his naked body," shared one victim on Tuesday.

Another victim told the court, "It is real, painful and will be inside me forever as an open wound. He took away my childhood the day he assaulted me."

There was also a glimmer of anger. A victim said, "You were the person in my life supposed to be a role model... You should be ashamed of yourself."

A victim said directly to Sandusky, "I want you to know I don't forgive you... I grew up in a bad situation and you made things worse."

You can follow Andrea McCarren on Twitter @AndreaMcCarren for updates.

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