BELLEFONTE - A gaunt and haggard-looking Jerry Sandusky said nothing when asked for his reaction to his 30- to 60-year sentence as he walked across the parking lot of the Centre County Courthouse.
In front of the courthouse, amid a throng of reporters and camera crews, attorneys and victims' advocates had plenty to say about the case, Sandusky's sentence and what lies ahead.
"Today ends nothing," said Matt Bodenschatz a Penn State student who was a victim of childhood sexual assault and started the group Voices for Victims in the days after Sandusky's arrest last fall.
Jerry Sandusky exits the Centre County Courthouse after sentencing
Still, it was an important day as it gives the victims a milestone from which he hopes they can move on and begin their healing, Bodenschatz said.
"The true thing to be worried about here is what it did to these victims," said Bodenschatz, adding Sandusky handed these 10 young men, a burden they'll carry for the rest of their lives.
Bodenschatz, who never had an opportunity to see his abuser face justice, attended every day of Sandusky's June trial. He said he didn't feel as if he was living vicariously through the victims in the case, but said it "felt good" and allowed him to root for justice.
Bodenschatz said he was inspired by the victims and is hopeful the trial will inspire others who "remain in the shadows" to come forward and report abuse. Although on a personal level he wanted to see Sandusky get more time in prison, Bodenschatz said he thought the sentence was just.
Speaking publicly for the first time outside the courtroom, Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan said he admired the young men for their courage in facing Sandusky in court. The men could have backed down at the last minute, he said.
"Instead, each of them chose to testify truthfully and in doing so demonstrated personal courage and the desire to speak the truth and see justice done," McGettigan said.
As other potential victims have come forward since the trial, McGettigan said the Sandusky case remains an open investigation and declined to comment on whether the former assistant Penn State football coach faces more prosecution.
Instead, McGettigan talked about the young men affected by Sandusky's crimes and didn't pull any punches when describing their convicted abuser.
"I hope this trial and its outcome causes them to be known not as victims anymore but by the character they displayed," he said, calling the sentence "wise and proper."
"Deviance, narcissism and a lack of feeling for the pain he caused others," were the words he ascribed to Sandusky.
"And to the end, an unwillingness to accept responsibility," he said.
McGettigan called Sandusky's statement on Tuesday "a masterpiece of banal self-delusion completely untethered from reality," despite the evidence presented at his trial and the verdict of the jury.
"He displayed same cowardice as when he preyed on children," McGettigan said as he described Sandusky's demeanor at his sentencing and during the trial.
Sandusky had the opportunity to tell the jury his story on the stand, as he had to media, but chose to be "silent and smirk" to avoid hard questions, McGettigan said.
Sandusky used his position in the community to abuse his victims and that despite reports of his behavior, he continued to prey on boys, McGettigan stressed.
"I hope that in the near future a greater consideration for the victims and their needs is soon to occur," he said.
McGettigan also defended the investigation, saying everyone involved, from former Attorney General Tom Corbett to the state troopers and Attorney General's agents conducting the investigation, did so with great care for the victims and for justice, without any agenda.
"Statements to the contrary are either uninformed, misinformed or just plain willfully false," he said.
Philadelphia attorney Tom Kline said after the sentencing that his client, Victim 5, believed it was important he speak at his abuser's sentencing to tell the court just how much Sandusky's crimes had hurt him. It wasn't easy for these young men to testify about what Sandusky did to them, Kline said.
"We were pleased with the sentence," Kline said. "Only, my client had hoped Mr. Sandusky would have showed some contrition."
Negotiations with Penn State are at a very early stage, Kline said, and beyond money, he wants to see changes at the university, particularly the implementation of the Freeh Report recommendations.
Ben Andreozzi, a Harrisburg attorney representing six Sandusky victims including Victim 4 who spoke at Tuesday's sentencing hearing, dismissed Sandusky's assertion that he was the victim of a conspiracy.
When Victims 1 and 4 came forward, they had no idea Penn State was suspected of covering up for the former coach and therefore saw no big pay off down the road, Andreozzi said.
"That conspiracy theory goes absolutely nowhere," he said.
After being convicted, Sandusky seems to have buyer's remorse when it comes to his defense strategy, Andreozzi said.
"The only positive thing that could come out of this is for Mr. Sandusky to apologize and take responsibility so the healing can begin," he said.
Victim 4 was "broken" by his experience and spoke Tuesday before Senior Judge John M. Cleland Jr. because he wanted to face Sandusky, he said.
"From day one, he wanted to be able to confront Mr. Sandusky in court," Andreozzi said. "He looked at him. He looked him in the eyes. He was angry."
Victim 4 addressed Sandusky directly, saying the former coach and founder of The Second Mile was supposed to be a role model but masked his abuse by pretending to care about him and other kids.
Victim 4 chastised Sandusky for not pleading guilty and sparing the young men the pain of testifying.
He also addressed a recorded statement Sandusky released Monday night to the media proclaiming his innocence while attacking the motives and credibility of his accusers.
He said Sandusky had "no morals or pride."
"I don't forgive you and I don't know if I'll ever forgive you," Victim 4 said.
For now, lawsuits against Penn State remain in limbo until the trials of Penn State Athletics Director Tim Curley, who is on leave, and former Vice President for Finance Gary Schultz wrap up, Andreozzi said, and he's met preliminarily with university officials about the case.
"It's important they understand there are non-monetary concerns," Andreozzi said. "It's not just about the money."
Apologies to the victims are necessary as well as policy changes at Penn State to ensure this never happens again. Penn State also needs to ask victims of Sandusky, "What can we do to make you whole?" Andreozzi said.
Sandusky attorney Karl Rominger said he was pleased with the sentence but said his client was ready to start the appeal process and there are multiple grounds for appeal,
"Obviously, it's a life sentence but it's a lot less than it could have been," Rominger said, hitting on the fact Cleland could have given Sandusky a sentence of several hundred years.
"I think the judge was sending a message that while what was done was serious and required retribution, it didn't require gratuitous retribution," Rominger said. "I think he balanced it out with the good that Jerry's done."
The recorded statement released Monday night by PSU ComRadio was made previously, and Rominger said it was his understanding that it wasn't to be released until after Sandusky's sentencing and was beyond Sandusky's control.
Sandusky's lead defense attorney, Joe Amendola, said a plea deal was never entertained by Sandusky because he has always maintained his innocence, as he did again on Tuesday.
Amendola indicated the biggest issue with the trial is the defense's perceived lack of time to prepare for trial. Amendola called it a due process issue and said there wasn't enough time to look at the evidence and investigate.
Amendola also touched on Sandusky's assertion that he was the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy, saying the case against Sandusky started with one victim coming forward before snowballing to 10 victims and a scandal that ultimately led to the firings of head football coach Joe Paterno and university President Graham Spanier.
Amendola questioned why Corbett, now Pennsylvania's governor, didn't have Sandusky arrested when the first accuser came forward and suggested there were bigger motivations at play, including tensions between Penn State and the state Legislature over past funding issues. He did say he didn't think anyone could have envisioned the scandal would "get to this point" but said money was a big motivator for those who accused Sandusky.
"We'll never know if [claims] were factual because we didn't have time to look into it," Amendola said.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.