Jerry Sandusky plans to speak at sentencing hearing

Posted at 5:28 PM, Oct 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-08 17:28:39-04
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania (CNN) — The attorney for convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky says the former Penn State assistant football coach plans to assert his innocence during a sentencing hearing Tuesday.

Sandusky, 68, could face up to life in prison after he was convicted in June on 45 counts of child sex abuse. His lawyers can appeal the upcoming decision for up to 10 days after sentencing.

Attorney Joe Amendola said Monday that his client, who is being held in the Centre County, Pennsylvania, jail, has been working on a statement that he plans to read in court.

Co-counsel Karl Rominger said the statement will be a reassertion of innocence.

He said he had advised the former coach against speaking freely. “Contrition without admission is always my advice,” he said.

On June 22, jurors determined that the former defensive coordinator had used his access to university facilities and his foundation for under-privileged youth to sexually abuse 10 boys over a 15-year period.

At least of three of Sandusky’s victims are expected to be in attendance Tuesday, according to their attorneys. Two of them have plans to address the former coach directly, while the third is expected to have a statement read by prosecutors.

The statement from the person who has been identified in court as Victim No.4 “will convey anger,” said attorney Benjamin Andreozzi. “He is nowhere near forgiving Sandusky.”

But attorney Thomas Kline, who represents Victim No. 5 in a civil suit, said his client “believes this will be a final chapter in the Sandusky matter.”

During the trial, which garnered national attention and cast a shadow on Penn State’s heralded football program, the 23-year-old victim testified that he was only 13 when Sandusky abused him in a university shower.

That account is separate from a 2001 incident about which graduate assistant Mike McQueary testified, saying he saw Sandusky pressed up against the back of a boy in the shower room of the Lasch Football Building.

Sandusky’s attorneys say they plan to appeal the court’s earlier verdict, and plan to argue that the jury’ opinions had been tainted by a prosecution reference to an interview Sandusky did with NBC’s Bob Costas prior to the trial.

Members of the defense team has also maintained that they were denied sufficient time to prepare for trial.

The scandal led to the firing of legendary head football coach Joe Paterno and the ouster of the university’s longtime president, Graham Spanier.

In July, former FBI Director Louis Freeh released 267-page report that blamed Paterno, Spanier, suspended Athletic Director Tim Curley and ex-Vice President Gary Schultz with taking part in a cover-up to avoid bad publicity.

Freeh also said Paterno could have stopped the attacks had he done more, though neither McQueary, Sandusky nor Paterno — who died in January — were interviewed by his investigators.

Attorneys for Spanier blasted the university-funded review, calling it a “blundering, indefensible indictment” and “a flat-out distortion of facts” that was “infused with bias and innuendo.”

In July, the NCAA imposed sanctions against Penn State, including a $60 million fine, scholarship reductions, the vacating of 112 wins, five years’ probation and a bowl ban for four years.