Serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State University football coach, was sentenced Tuesday morning to 30 - 60 years in prison for sexually abusing 10 young, at-risk boys over a 15-year period.
The sentence was handed down in Centre County Court by Judge John Cleland, and could put the 68-year-old retired defensive coordinator in prison for the rest of his life, Reuters reports.
"I am not going to sentence you to centuries in prison even though the law allows me to do that," Cleland said.
The sentencing came roughly three and a half months after a jury found him guilty of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, The New York Times says.
Sandusky's defense attorney Joseph Amendola has said any prison term longer than 20 years would be a "life sentence" for his client and that he is preparing an appeal, Reuters reports. Sandusky's defense team has contended they did not have enough time to prepare for the high-profile trial.
On Monday, in a recorded statement aired on a Penn State radio station, a defiant Sandusky said his conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse was part of a "well-orchestrated" conspiracy.
Sandusky blamed his legal troubles on a young man designated by the state grand jury as "Victim 1," a former participant in Sandusky's charity for troubled youth, The Second Mile.
"A young man who is dramatic and a veteran accuser and always sought attention started everything," the former coach said. "He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the (criminal justice) system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers.
"They've won," he said. "I've wondered what they've really won. Attention, financial gain, prestige will all be temporary."
When he first spoke to authorities in 2008, Victim 1 — one of 10 boys victimized by the coach — said Sandusky abused him over a period of four years. Many of the assaults took place in Sandusky's State College, Pa., home, according to USA Today.
Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, confirmed his client's statement.
Slade McLaughlin, the attorney for Victim 1, said Sandusky's opportunity to speak came and went at his criminal trial. "He now has the audacity to take pot shots at his victims, who did have the courage to come forth to speak the truth."
Though Sandusky will now almost certainly spend the rest of his life in prison, the larger case is far from settled. Four of Sandusky’s victims are suing the university. Victim 1, as he has been called in court, has written a book set to be released Oct. 23.
In his statement, Sandusky again issued a wholesale denial of the crimes.
“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."
"In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts. My wife has been my only sex partner and that was after marriage," the 68-year-old man said. "Our love continues."