The judge acknowledged he could have sentenced Sandusky to hundreds of years but the practical effect for the 68 year old defendant is the same.
Jerry Sandusky left a courthouse to begin what amounts to a life sentence behind bars. The former Penn State football coach once hailed as a hero on the gridiron is now officially labeled a violent sex predator under Pennsylvania law.
Before sentencing Sandusky delivered a rambling, fifteen minute statement choking with emotion as he talked about smiling through his pain and declaring himself a victim repeating claims of innocence he made in a radio statement on the eve of sentencing.
Prosecutor Joe Mcgettigan called Sandusky's statements ridiculous.Sandusky's defense team says it is going to appeal the conviction.Judge John Cleeland called the case a story of betrayal and told sandusky that he abused the trust of those who trusted him.
The former coach was convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse on ten young boys he met through the second mile his charity for underprivileged youth.
Three of Sandusky's victims confronted him in court, One stared directly at Sandusky as he said. "We both know exactly what happened. You should be ashamed of yourself."
Another sobbed as he told the court of his abuse and his painful road to recovery, saying "I've not by any means arrived but i've certainly left."
One of the jurors who decided this case said "Justice has been served"
but also noted this is far from over. In fact the prosecutor says the investigation is continuing but refused to discuss details.