Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University, asked the judge who sentenced him to 30 to 60 years in prison for child sexual abuse to reconsider the punishment.
Sandusky, 68, contends the prison term imposed on him Oct. 9 by Judge John Cleland in state court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, is too harsh and violates his constitutional rights. Sandusky was found guilty by a jury of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He was convicted on 45 counts.
“The defendant submits the court’s sentence was excessive and tantamount, as the court stated at the defendant’s sentencing, to a life sentence,” Sandusky’s lawyers said in a court filing today.
Sandusky met the boys he abused through the Second Mile, a charity he founded for needy children. During a two-week trial in June, prosecutors portrayed him as a serial child molester who used the charity to recruit his victims, befriending them and “grooming” them with gifts, trips to Penn State football games and money.
Sandusky played and coached under Joe Paterno, Penn State’s head football coach, for more than 30 years before retiring in 1999. Paterno, who died in January, and former university President Graham Spanier were fired amid criticism they didn’t do enough to stop Sandusky’s alleged abuse.
Sandusky will serve at least three decades before he’s considered for parole, lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan said after the sentence was imposed.
Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly, said in a phone interview that prosecutors are reviewing the filing by Sandusky’s lawyers.
Sandusky’s lawyers also asked Cleland to grant the former coach a new trial, arguing that prosecutors failed to produce enough evidence to buttress claims that he abused the youths.
The case is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Sandusky, CP-14-2422-CR-2011, Court of Common Pleas, Centre County, Pennsylvania (Bellefonte).