Jerry Sandusky Sentenced To 30-60 Years In Prison

Less than a year after he was first arrested on charges that he had been sexually abusing children for years, former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky has received a sentence that guarantees that he will die in prison:

BELLEFONTE, Pa. —Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was sentenced Tuesday morning to 30 to 60 years in prison for sexually abusing young boys, crimes that roiled the university community and shook one of major college football’s most prominent programs.

The ruling was handed down in Centre County Court by Judge John Cleland, and it essentially guaranteed that Sandusky, 68, would die in prison. The sentencing came roughly three and a half months after a jury found him guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Sandusky, the jury determined, had abused 10 young boys, all of them from disadvantaged homes. Sandusky used his connections to the Penn State football program, as well as his own charity for disadvantaged youth, the Second Mile, to identify potential victims, get close to them and then sexually violate them.

In a recorded statement broadcast on a Penn State radio station Monday night, a defiant Sandusky said: “They can take away my life, they can make me out as a monster, they can 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. My wife has been my only sex partner and that was after marriage.”

Sandusky arrived at the court Tuesday dressed in a red prison outfit and looking thinner than he had at his trial. He spoke before the sentence was handed down, again denying that he had abused the young boys.

Cleland said that Sandusky’s ability to deceive those who trusted him and thought so highly of him was what made his acts so “heinous.”

“I’m not going to sentence you to centuries in prison, although the law will permit that,” Cleland said, though he added that he expected Sandusky to be in prison for the rest of his life.

At the age of 68, a 30 year sentence before he’s even eligible for parole almost certainly guarantees that Sandusky will die in prison. On the off chance he managed to survive, one doubts that he’d be released even at the advanced age of 98. The Judge apparently could have sentenced Sandusky to a longer sentence but one wonders what the purpose of that would have actually been given that the impact will be the same, Jerry Sandusky will die in prison.

While this is the end of the Sandusky case, it isn’t the end of the scandal. Penn State still faces nearly a dozen civil claims from Sandusky’s victims, and former Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley face trial in January on the charges against them for perjury before the Grand Jury and failing to report the allegations of abuse they were made aware of to the proper authorities.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Hal 10000 says:

    Oh, our days of being disgusted are barely coming to a middle. The REAL shoe that’s going to drop will what was going on in the DA’s office and what, if anything, Corbett had to do with the foot-dragging on bringing charges.

    This is going to get worse before it gets better.

  2. Al says:

    I’m still hoping that Penn State ceases to exist in its current form. This case is merely the worst example of a systemic problem. Any time a college athletics program draws a decent crowd the schools will quickly go to lengths that strain ethical, if not legal, boundaries in service of those programs.

  3. mike says:

    Where he belongs for good. I have a feeling a lot of the prisoners will “Sandusky” him.

  4. Anderson says:

    He should’ve asked for parole so that he could carry on his nationwide hunt for the real molesters.

  5. bill says:

    @mike: i think he might just enjoy his last days on earth- a little too much.

  6. Judy Jones says:

    It takes a ton of courage to come forward about being sexually abused as a child, We hope the survivors of Jerry Sandusky realize that they are heroes for our children today. They have stopped this serial child predator, and they are to be commended for exposing the ugly truth and getting Sandusky away from kids forever. Hopefully if there are others who have been harmed by him or any child predator, they too will have the courage to come forward, break their silence, get help, start to heal and protect others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. sn******@gm***.com,
    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,) is the worlds oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
    SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word priest in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc.