JUDY WOODRUFF: The former football coach who plunged PennStateUniversity into scandal by his sexual abuse of young boys over many years was sentenced today. The judge called his crime a story of betrayal.
Jerry Sandusky wore a red jail jumpsuit and a smile as he entered the Centre County Courthouse this morning. Less than two hours later, the smile was gone after the 68-year-old learned he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan:
JOE MCGETTIGAN, district attorney: I believe that the sentence that the court imposed today was a wise and proper one and that it reflected the seriousness of the defendant's crimes for the harm that he caused and the need to remove him from society.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Sandusky was convicted three months ago on 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 young boys over a 15-year period. In an audio statement that aired Monday on a PennState student radio station, he again insisted he is innocent.
JERRY SANDUSKY: 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.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Going further, he blamed the victims. Today, in court, Sandusky expanded on that theme for some 15 minutes, but Judge John Cleland said his claims of a conspiracy were unbelievable and the prosecutor dismissed Sandusky's words as ridiculous.
JOE MCGETTIGAN: He displayed deviance, narcissism, a lack of feeling for the pain he caused others and to the end an unwillingness to accept responsibility.
In fact, his statement today was a masterpiece of banal self-delusion, completely untethered from reality.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Still, defense attorney Joe Amendola insisted Sandusky was the victim of a rush to judgment.
JOE AMENDOLA, attorney for Jerry Sandusky: Today, they may be Jerry Sandusky's rights. Tomorrow, they may be your rights or they may be your rights.
And you're going to say, wait a minute, I need more time to do this. I have a defense. I'm innocent. Oh, but everybody thinks you're guilty, so why the heck waste time? Let's just get this over with.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Sandusky plans to appeal. And that's not the end of the scandal that shook PennState.
Two college administrators, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, face trial on charges of failing to report Sandusky to the police and lying to a grand jury.
Longtime head football coach Joe Paterno was fired last November and died in January of lung cancer. The NCAA later imposed severe sanctions on the school's football program.
For more on all this, we turn to Mark Scolforo, who has been covering the story for The Associated Press. He was in the courtroom today.
Mark, thank you for joining us. We know that Jerry Sandusky spoke before the sentence was handed down. What did he say?
MARK SCOLFORO, The Associated Press: Well, he again denied the allegations against him, which he's consistently done since his arrest.
And he also—he talked about a number of matters. I think largely he was—he reviewed the—sort of the good works he had done through the Second Mile charity and in an attempt to give the judge some idea of the positive side of his life outside these criminal allegations.
He also spoke about his family members that stuck with him. He discussed his life in prison. And he vowed to continue fighting.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Did he say anything about the victims?
MARK SCOLFORO: Well, he—not a lot.
I mean, he said that he hoped that this case would somehow generate some positive publicity that would prevent other children from being victimized in the future.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And what about the victims? We know that out of the 10, three of them spoke. What was their demeanor and what did they say?
MARK SCOLFORO: Well, one had a very calm demeanor.
The other two seemed nervous, but all three of them talked about the effect that this case had had on them personally, mentioned post-traumatic stress disorder, depression.
And one of them spoke in religious terms and urged Sandusky to accept responsibility for what he had done as a—you know, as something that was inevitable, that was required, I guess, as a matter of his belief.