Former Pennsylvania State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison Tuesday, just one day after he released a statement denying his crimes.
Sandusky received the sentence after he was found guilty of 45 counts relating to the sexual abuse of 10 children during his tenure with the football team.
In an audio statement released from prison to Penn State college radio station ComMedia on Monday evening, Sandusky said he is innocent and that his accuser has made many suffer “as a result of false allegations.”
In the statement, he blamed “media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers” for collaborating to ensure his conviction.
Sandusky, who was found guilty on June 22 and has been in prison since then, said that his wife has been his only sex partner.
“They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can’t take away my heart,” he says. “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. Our love continues.”
The statement hinted that Sandusky plans to appeal. “We will fight for another chance,” he said.
The sentencing hearing included three victim impact statements, with one of the victims saying that Sandusky should stop denying his crimes, reports the Associated Press. “I’ve been left with deep painful wounds that you caused and had been buried in the garden of my heart for many years,” the victim said.
Lawyers for some of the victims also had harsh words for the former coach after the tape was released.
Slade McLaughlin, the attorney for a man who can only be identified as Victim 1, told USA Today that Sandusky had a chance to speak at his criminal trial, but he did not take the stand. “He now has the audacity to take pot shots at his victims, who did have the courage to come forth to speak the truth,” McLaughlin says.
Sandusky spoke in court for the first time as part of the sentencing hearing, again denying the abuse during his 15-minute statement.