Good Riddance, Mr. Sandusky

by Diane Dimond on October 15, 2012

Sandusky Arrives for Sentencing

As my mother used to say, “He looked like death warmed over.”When Jerry Sandusky entered the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania to hear his sentence he looked like a completely different man.

Gone was the suit and tie I saw him wear each day of his child sex abuse trial. Gone was the bounce in his step and his rosy cheeks. Today, after nearly four months in solitary confinement, the convicted child sex predator looks as though he’s lost at least thirty pounds. His red prison scrubs hung loosely from his body. His gait was wobbly, his posture stooped and his face a pasty grey. He blew a kiss to his wife in the far right front row and grimaced as he sat on the hard wooden chair at the defense table.

Dottie Sandusky on Sentencing Day

I was in the second row, to the left of Dottie Sandusky, four of the couple’s six adopted children and their supporters. They wept when they caught sight of Sandusky entering court. I thought since he looked so diminished he must have been spending time repenting for his crimes – 45 counts of deviant sexual abuse against ten boys from his Second Mile charity. I was completely wrong.

Sandusky was passive as the judge officially proclaimed him “a violent sexual predator” under Pennsylvania’s Meghan Law. The defense didn’t even put up a fight. The Prosecutor, Joe McGettigan, read scathing victim impact statements from Victim No. 1 and the mother of Victim No. 9.

“Jerry Sandusky is the worst kind of pedophile,” the now-18 year old victim wrote. “He smiles and smirked his way through these proceedings. There is no remorse or regret – only evil.” The mother’s statement lamented the loss of her son’s innocence. “Many nights I sit up and cry. Not only did you molest him,” she wrote. “You caused him a lifetime of pain … all for your sexual gratification. How cruel of you!”

Judge John Cleland Presided & Sentenced

Three of the victims, now in their twenties, were determined to face their attacker in court.

A recent bible college graduate, Victim No. 6, took a ragged deep breath as he told Sandusky, “You can choose to be in denial of what you’ve done (but) I think you are only fooling yourself. It’s time to stop.” Sandusky, sitting just feet away, stared at the young man’s profile as he addressed the judge and showed absolutely no emotion.

A visibly shaken Victim No. 5 sniffled his way through his statement. “He called it horseplay (in the shower) … but I am troubled by flashbacks of his naked body,” he said. He asked the judge to, “take into account the tears, pain and private anguish I and others have endured.” Again, no reaction from Sandusky.

Cameras Outside But Not Inside Court

The last to speak, Victim No. 4, had been involved with and pursued by the once popular PSU football coach for years. When this survivor spoke to the court he looked directly at Sandusky. “You did terrible things. I can’t tell you how you’ve screwed up my life,” he said emphatically. “You should be ashamed of yourself.” No reaction from the defense table but then a quiet gasp from the gallery when the young man asked forgiveness from other Sandusky victims. “I ask those who were abused after me to forgive me for not coming out sooner.”

The Judge had warned Sandusky, via his attorney, the afternoon before that while he had the right to make a pre-sentencing statement he did not have the right to bash the judicial system or the victims. Within hours Team Sandusky figured out a way around that by using the radio station at Penn State (no less!) to broadcast a three minute audio tape of Sandusky from jail. Just who taped it and gave it to the station remains a mystery but Sandusky was heard blasting prosecutors, investigators, media and Penn State officials who had conspired against him. He vilified the victims calling them “disturbed” and attention seekers.

Sentenced and Back to Lock-Up

Those incendiary comments were stripped from the statement he delivered before Judge John Cleland but the message of Sandusky’s 15 minute soliloquy to the court was loud and clear. Everyone was lying. He was innocent.

I won’t bore you with all the details of Sandusky’s bizarre comments. You had to be there to truly understand how self-serving it was. He said his biggest pain was the separation from his wife, his family and his dog, Bo. His voice cracked when he spoke of seeing a brighter future ahead where he would be free to throw, “thousands of kids in the air,” to see his dog lick their faces and play with balloons. He declared that his wife of 46 years had been his only sex partner in life – and that they had waited until after marriage.

It was the strangest statement I’ve ever seen a prisoner deliver and I’ve been doing this for a long time. Especially when you realize that that the prosecutor had nine more alleged victims ready to testify should a re-trial be necessary. Four other men have now come forward to say Sandusky molested them too.

Judge Cleland called Sandusky’s conspiracy theory “unbelievable” and sentenced him to spend no less than 30 years and no more than 60 years in prison. The judge added that for a man of 68 “That means for the rest of your life.”

I believe justice was done.



{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

ABQ Journal Reader John Hunt writes:

“Dear Diane,
I’ve been following the Sandusky trial and sentencing and appreciate your coverage. But I have to say, he’s a classic sociopath, a person who lacks a sense of morality or social conscience. The scariest one I know about is John Leonard Orr, the subject of Joe Wambaugh’s book Fire Lover (2003). A convicted arsonist who killed four people, he was a fire captain and arson investigator for the Glendale Fire Department no less. He continues to maintain his innocence.
Sandusky will always blame others; in his mind he’s done nothing wrong. Sociopathic behavior is a mental illness.
Thanks again,
John Hunt”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 10:56 am

ABQ Journal Reader Kyla Thompson writes:

“Great column – made me weep.”


Michael Sweet October 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

I wonder if getting a sentence of 400 years would bother him more than getting 30-60? Would he feel more damned or angry? More helpless? Is 30 close enough to give him hope? Is it just out of his reach enough to eat away at him? I hope so.


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Facebook Friend Karen T. Taylor writes:

“High quality, incisive commentary as always. Thanks from a long time crime fighter and victim’s advocate at Facial Images.”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Facebook (and Personal) Friend Ann O’Neill writes:

“What would you miss most if a magician could make me disappear?” — Jerry Sandusky.
Answer: Nothing. Nothing at all.”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Facebook Friend Pamela Hodge Chapman writes:

“Diane,were you there?”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Dear Pamela:

Yes, I was there to cover the entire trial and then the sentencing of Jerry Sandusky – that’s why I was able to write about how very different he looks now. You can read my work for Newsweek and its web site at this link:


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Facebook Friend Fred Mizzi writes:

“I think all the sick people who rioted behind there firing should make a public apology.”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Facebook Friend Dick Farrel writes:

“And he’s now preachin his innocence.. where was he at trial? He’s calling his conv a “CONSPIRACY”…lol…that’s like calling the Kansas City Cheifs a Football team..”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Facebook Friend Madeline Michele Hovey writes:

“Good riddance is right… I agree with your statement Dick minus the Chiefs…”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm

ABQ Journal Reader MMobberley writes:

“Hi Diane….was out of town when you were in town…so sorry I missed you. YOU ARE THE BEST and make my Saturdays special reading your letters….I really look forward to your column and have my friends reading them too.. In the Sandusky case which I watched on TV I would like to add that I think Dottie was well aware of what was going on…She just had her head in the sand…she had to have heard the screams from the basement…she said under oath that her hearing was good and the basement was’t sound-proof.
What a PITY….I feel sorry for their adopted son and all concerned….how one man can cause so much heartache….Just AWFUL….thanks for listening and keep up the good work…”


Angela October 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I don’t think justice was done at tall.
I don’t think it’s fair that you can rip off thousands of ppl like Madoff did and get sentenced to 100 and some years in jail.
Here you have a PEDOPHILE, a disgusting S.O.B. (pardon my language, I abbreviated, didn’t actually say it)
who; manipulated, abused (more ways than sexual) used his power, ugh… he has ruined lives, one person he abused turned out to be an offender himself.
I’m sorry, but the judge regardless, although serving 100 years is impossible (maybe-who knows now a-days there might be a science miracle that you can live to be 150) as he said, SHOULD OF SENTENCED HIM TO MORE!
I disagree with all the b.s. journalism that the judge sent out a message. B.S.!
I wonder what the judge would of sentenced him to if (g 4bid) if one of the victims were his kids.
So what did we learn?
You can steal millions and get sentenced to 100;s of yrs in prison, but you molest young boys, <- PLURAL, BOYS you'll get 30-60!
I've seen cases in PA where grown men in their 50's got 50 years for rape of one person.
I am disappointed!


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm

DD Website Reader Mike Reagan writes:

“The average # of children molested by ONE PEDOPHILE is 117.”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Facebook Friend Patti Petow writes:

“Patti Petow I woulda if I coulda! And I still think the judge should have used sentencing Sandusky as an example to the world about what happens when corrupt organizations keep big, ugly secrets.”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Facebook Friend Linda Kelly writes:

“I would have liked to smile at him as he was ushered out of the courtroom in his pretty outfit.”


Diane Dimond October 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Facebook Friend Danno Hanks writes:

“Unfortunately, one of the “sentencing guidelines” was not a bullit in the head. However, as you know, I am very familiar with the special “justice system” that exist inside of our nation’s prisons. The inmates (many with children of their own) have their own “sentencing guidelines”. Justice will be swift!”


Diane Dimond October 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Friend Nancy Robel writes:

“Good riddance, is right. I can’t imagine his family members being in such denial, too. I guess it’s a family affair. If it were my father or relative that had committed these crimes, I would have been first in line to shove him in a cell and throw away the key. Disgusting, sicko. There will be justice in prison, though as one of your readers suggested. Some of those inmates who HATE child molesters will get a hold of him and give him a “dose” of his own medicine. Then maybe he’ll wake up and see the errors of his past. We can only hope.”


CLS October 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm

On the one hand, I’m glad justice was served. He’ll spend the rest of his life in prison, trying to be careful to not drop soap in the shower. Unfortunately, will there ever be enough justice to help his victims put their lives back together?

I appreciate your coverage of this case.


Diane Dimond October 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

LinkedIn Group Reader (Radio and TV Pro’s Network) Jacquie Murphy:

“Well said, Diane. And there he stands with that imbecilic grin blaming everyone else for his situation and accepting NO responsibility! Shame on him and on the enablers, especially Penn State!”
Posted by Jacquie Murphy


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