The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 10, 2012

Sandusky headed to prison, but scandal persists



BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — Headed to prison for the rest of his life, Jerry Sandusky leaves behind a trail of human and legal wreckage that could take years to clear away.

Victims face a lifetime of healing. Penn State is laboring under severe NCAA penalties. And at least four civil lawsuits have been filed against a university shamed by scandal, with more likely to come.

If Sandusky felt any remorse or pity for anyone but himself, he didn't show it at his sentencing Tuesday. Instead, speaking in court for the first time since his arrest last November, the former Penn State assistant football coach delivered a disjointed and defiant monologue in which he denied committing "disgusting acts" against children and cast himself as the victim.

Sitting behind him were the actual victims — the young men who testified that Sandusky serially molested them when they were children, using his position of influence and authority to gain their trust and then violate their innocence.

"I am troubled with flashbacks of his naked body, something that will never be erased from my memory," said a victim who was 13 when Sandusky lured him into a Penn State shower and forced him to touch the ex-coach. Another victim told Sandusky he suffered from "deep painful wounds that you caused and had been buried in the garden of my heart for many years."

Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for sexually abusing 10 boys, a scandal that brought disgrace to Penn State and triggered the downfall of his former boss, Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno.

While the criminal case against Sandusky is over, the fallout will persist. With Penn State facing enormous civil liability, the university has said it wants to "privately, expeditiously and fairly" settle with Sandusky's victims.

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