Disgraced former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky insists he is not a sexual predator – but instead the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy.
“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,” Sandusky said in a statement recorded from his jail cell in Bellefonte, Pa., and aired on the Penn State student radio station. “In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.”
Sandusky, 68, was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse in June and is expected to read the statement at his sentencing hearing scheduled in Bellefonte on Tuesday morning.
In the statement, Sandusky claims the bombshell allegations of abuse that ripped apart central Pennslyvania grew from a story concocted by one of the youths he was mentoring, and was later inflated by police investigators, Penn State officials, the media and others.
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“A young man who was dramatic, a veteran accuser and always sought attention, started everything. He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won,” Sandusky said.
He faces between 10 and 218 years in prison, and will most likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
His attorney, Joe Amendola, told NBCPhiladelphia.com there were inconsistencies in testimony from the accusers the jury ignored, and that Sandusky has spent much of his time since June preparing the statement he will read at sentencing.
Several of Sandusky’s victims are also expected to speak at the hearing.
“Evaluate the accusers and their families,” Sandusky said. “Realize they didn’t come out of isolation. The accusers were products of many more people and experiences than me. Look at their confidants and their honesty. Think about how easy it was for them to turn on me given the information, attention and potential perks.”
Sandusky chose not to testify in his own defense, and his protests of innocence will most likely not save him from a lengthy prison stay.
It’s unclear where Sandusky will serve his sentence. Older inmates are often sent to Laurel Highlands, which has the resources to treat severe medical conditions. He might also wind up at Waymart, a lower-security prison in northeast Pennsylvania. His safety will always be a concern because of his high public profile as a member of Paterno’s staff and the stigma attached to sexual abuse.