In letters to the judge in charge of his sentencing, Jerry Sandusky and his wife maintained his innocence, questioned victims’ motives and said they had lost faith in the judicial system, with Dottie Sandusky writing, “Jerry is not the monster everyone is making him out to be.”
Judge John Cleland, who sentenced Sandusky to not less than 30 years in prison after his conviction on 45 charges of child sexual abuse, released the letters. Dottie Sandusky, writing shortly after her husband’s June 22 conviction, said she never saw any inappropriate activity and said she’d lost faith in the system. “To think that they can lie and get away with the lies,” she wrote. “The press has been unbelievable. People who have not met us are writing untruths.” (The full letter can be read here.)
Dottie Sandusky also said, as she has in the past, that she saw no inappropriate activity: “I never saw him doing anything inappropriate to any child, if I had, as a Mother and Grandmother I would have taken action,” she wrote. “Jerry is not the monster everyone is making him out to be.”
In a three-page letter written in late September, Jerry Sandusky echoed a statement he made earlier in the week in an audio recording. He wrote that victims and their families “have been rewarded for forgetting, fabricating and exaggerating. Maybe they will have a better place to live, a new car, access to more highs, but they won’t change. Most of their rewards will be very temporary.”
Jerry Sandusky, too, said he’d lost faith in the system. “My trust in people, systems and fairness has diminished,” he wrote. “My faith in God who sends light through darkness has remained. My heart has been broken but still works.”
In other Sandusky news, Pennsylvania’s public employee pension system has notified him that it intends to revoke Sandusky’s $59,000 annual pension. And Dottie Sandusky no longer would be entitled to a survivor’s benefit. The Sanduskys intend to fight revocation of the pension, their lawyer said. “It’s my inclination to believe that they are just going through the motions to try to throw some red meat to the public, but they know they are going to lose,” Karl Rominger told the Associated Press.
Pennsylvania’s pension forfeiture law was amended in 2004 to apply to any public school employee convicted of a sex crime against a student. The retirement system determined, the letter said, that two of the charges on which Sandusky was convicted fell under the forfeiture law. (Those charges were involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault.) The system also contends that, because Sandusky continued to have ties to Penn State after he retired in 1999, he would be subject to forfeiture as a “de facto” employee. However, Rominger argues that since Sandusky’s crimes were not committed against Penn State students, the law does not apply to him. “It did not involve students where he worked, and that’s going to be the crux,” Rominger said.
The AP reports that Sandusky was given a $148,000 lump sum payment when he retired in 1999 and began receiving a monthly annuity. He received $900,000 in pension payments between 1999 and September 2012. He began working for Penn State in 1969.