UK & World News
Sandusky Denies Guilt Ahead Of Sentencing
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has proclaimed his innocence ahead of his sentencing on dozens of counts of child sexual abuse.
A court in Bellefonte in Pennsylvania is due to hand down a sentence that even Sandusky's lawyers say is likely to send him to prison for the rest of his life.
The 68-year-old was convicted in June of 45 counts involving 10 victims over a 15-year period.
He met most of the boys through a charity which he founded in 1977 for at-risk youths.
Eight of the victims testified, describing a range of abuse that included grooming, fondling, and sex acts. Eight lawyers are currently representing 20 people who have sued or are potential civil claimants.
But Sandusky insisted on Monday he "did not do these alleged disgusting acts" and blamed the guilty verdicts on a systematic conspiracy among police, Penn State administrators and the media.
"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 three-minute statement recorded from his cell and aired on the Penn State student radio station.
"In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts," Sandusky added. "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 and at least some of his victims plan to address the judge on Tuesday.
Tom Kline, lawyer for a young man who said he was groped in a shower when he was 12 or 13, said his client plans to read a statement.
"He's going to tell the judge how this has affected him, how it's been painful and difficult," Kline said.
The Sandusky case tarnished the reputation of one of the most celebrated college football programmes in the US and stunned a nation where college sports are revered.
It also led to the firing of longtime Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, who died from lung cancer in January. Two college administrators are facing charges of lying to the grand jury that investigated the case originally.
Sandusky, who did not go in the witness box during his trial, plans to appeal.