Sandusky to be sentenced after October 9 predator hearing

Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:55pm EDT

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives at Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, June 11, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives at Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, June 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

Related Topics

(Reuters) - Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky will face sentencing immediately after an October 9 hearing to determine if the former Penn State assistant football coach is a sexually violent predator, a judge said on Monday.

The hearing will be held at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, Judge John Cleland said in an order published online. A sentencing conference will be held October 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.

LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE?

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.

"In the end, however, judges are very politically sensitive in cases like this. Whatever the guidelines call for, I believe the judge will impose a sentence that is functionally life without hope of parole," he wrote in an email before the hearing date was set.

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.

The abuse ranged from fondling to anal and oral sex, including the rape of a boy in a Penn State football shower in 2001.

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 January 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.

The charges against Sandusky in November 2011 led to the firing of revered head football coach Joe Paterno and university President Graham Spanier. Paterno died in January of lung cancer at age 85.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by David Brunnstrom and Vicki Allen)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
AlfBundy wrote:
He’s not in prison yet but every statue of Joe Paterno, the winning-est coach in college football history have been removed from Penn State. Sandusky you suck! RIP Joe Pa!

Sep 17, 2012 12:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wilfar wrote:
Here’s a guy who is still parading around in a suit. Riding in an SUV mind you, and he’s still not in Jail after all of the damage he has done. He trashed his University, he probably caused the early death of Joe Pa, and their are, who knows, how many victims out there other than the knowns at present. If Sandusky was black, he’d be under the jail by now. Maybe Joe Pa was guilty, using the term lightly, of a lapse in judgement but he didn’t rate the shoddy treatment he received from the Administration. An administration much more worried about their own butts than taking up for Coach Paterno. Put Joe Pa’s statue back and put Sandusky where he belongs…he can demonstrate if he’s a violent perp when he gets to the state pen. I think the judge is spending too much time on the golf course, get in your little gown and make a decision on this guy. RIP Joe Pa.

Sep 17, 2012 1:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sjtom wrote:
Paterno was just as guilty for keeping his mouth shut. All he wanted was to save his precious football career. Rot in hell, Joe Pa.

Sep 17, 2012 3:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Pictures