Jerry Sandusky’s day of reckoning next month
Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky will face sentencing immediately after an Oct. 9 hearing to determine if the former Penn State assistant football coach is a sexually violent predator, a judge said yesterday.
The hearing will be held at the Centre County Courthouse, Judge John Cleland said in an order published online. A sentencing conference will be held Oct. 8. Sandusky, 68, was convicted in June of 45 counts of child molestation as part of a scandal that shook college football and focused national attention on child sex abuse.
He faces up to 373 years in prison for sexually abusing 10 boys over a period of 15 years, including while he was the highly regarded defensive coordinator at powerhouse Pennsylvania State University.
Designating Sandusky a sexually violent predator would put him under stringent reporting requirements if he is put on probation after release from prison. The court will consider the recommendation of the state Sexual Offenders Assessment Board. Normally a determination hearing takes place the same day as sentencing, but the scale of Sandusky’s case could mean sentencing would take place later.
Dan Filler, a law professor at Philadelphia’s Drexel University, said Cleland had options in sentencing, but the outcome would be the same for Sandusky. Cleland could have the 45 sentences run one after the other or at the same time. He also could impose the maximum or minimum under sentencing guidelines, and take Sandusky’s lack of prior convictions into consideration, Filler said. Sandusky’s lawyer Joe Amendola has vowed to appeal the convictions after sentencing, arguing that he was not given enough time to prepare his case.
Sandusky, who retired in 1999, was convicted of abusing the boys after making contact with them through the Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youth.
No end yet for Penn State
Former Athletic Director Tim Curry and former university Vice President Gary Schultz face charges of failing to report suspected abuse and perjury in connection with the 2001 incident.
Their trial is scheduled to start on Jan. 7.
At least three of Sandusky’s victims are suing the university. Sandusky’s lawyers have put the number of potential victims at almost 20.