By Ian Simpson
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania | Mon Oct 8, 2012 10:23pm EDT
Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, on the eve of his sentencing for molesting 10 boys, on Monday denied he committed the “alleged disgusting acts” and said his wife has been his only sex partner.
Sandusky, 68, in a taped statement carried by Penn State’s student radio station, said he was wrongly convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse, crimes for which he could spend the rest of his life behind bars after his sentencing on Tuesday in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
“Why didn’t we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations?” Sandusky said in a flat voice devoid of emotion which his lawyer verified as the former defensive coordinator for Penn State’s powerhouse football team.
“I’m responding to the worst loss of my life,” Sandusky said in the statement recorded by phone from jail. “What’s the purpose? Maybe (the case) will help others; some vulnerable children who could be abused, might not be because of all the publicity.”
He added, “In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts. My wife has been my only sex partner. That was after marriage.”
Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, known for his unorthodox approach in dealing with the media, contacted the radio station earlier in the day to make the recording, a station spokesman said.
In the statement Sandusky, who never testified at his trial, denounced the men who testified that he sexually abused them as juveniles after recruiting them through The Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youth. They accused him of crimes ranging from fondling to oral and anal abuse over 15 years, including a rape in a football shower in 2001.
“A young man who was dramatic a veteran accuser, and always sought attention, started everything,” Sandusky said of Victim 1, whose accusations triggered an investigation that uncovered multiple other victims.
“He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won. I’ve wondered what they really won: Attention, financial gain, prestige,” Sandusky said in the recording.
Victim 5’s lawyer said the statement showed Sandusky continued to refuse to accept responsibility for his crimes.
“It’s not unexpected, but it’s sad and unfortunate that Mr. Sandusky can’t come to terms with the avalanche of evidence and conviction by the jury,” Philadelphia attorney Tom Kline said.
Victim 5 was expected to be among as many as six of Sandusky’s accusers returning to court on Tuesday to make a final statement before Judge John Cleland sentences Sandusky, who faces a sentence of hundreds of years in prison.
“Anything over 20 years is a life sentence. We’re anticipating that,” said Amendola, who is preparing an appeal contending the defense did not have enough time to prepare for the high-profile case.
Sandusky, in isolation at the Centre County Correctional Facility, was “amazingly upbeat” on Monday and working on what he will say in court before he is sentenced, Amendola said.
Only Sandusky will speak on his behalf, Amendola said.
“Dottie (his wife) and the five children are solidly behind Jerry,” he said. A sixth child, Matt, said after the trial that his father had abused him. All Sandusky’s children are adopted.
Sandusky’s case jolted the world of college athletics, where Penn State football reigned for decades under legendary coach Joe Paterno. Paterno was fired, as was university President Graham Spanier, on the grounds that they failed to act on what they knew about Sandusky’s behavior. Paterno died in January of lung cancer at age 85.
Ahead of sentencing, Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offenders Assessment Board will report to Cleland on its evaluation of whether Sandusky is a sexually violent predator. The designation would put him under reporting requirements if he were to be released from prison on probation.
(Additional reporting by Dave Warner; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Paul Thomasch and David Brunnstrom)