Jerry Sandusky sentencing spectators call hearing ‘historic’

cminemye@centredaily.comOctober 9, 2012 

— Convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky arrived at the Centre County Courthouse in a red jumpsuit and handcuffs at 8:45 this morning, just minutes before his sentencing.

Sandusky, 68, was convicted in June on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse. Within two hours during his sentencing this morning, Senior Judge John Cleland gave Sandusky 30 to 60 years in state prison.

Mary Noel Jordan said she sat outside the courthouse for hours "to see justice done today."

Jordan drove up from Hershey late Monday night to join the dozens waiting for public seats to attend the sentencing.

She arrived just after midnight, and was near the front of the line, alongside Nellie Lykens of Bellefonte.

"I wanted to hear Jerry's side of the story," Lykens said. "You can read a lot. But now I'll hear it for myself."

The court set aside 85 seats for members of the public. The line stretched down the north steps of the courthouse and along the sidewalk, beside the closest of the many media trucks parked on High Street.

A long line of reporters waited, too, with members of the media extending from the main entrance down the steps to the south toward the burned-out shell of the Hotel Do De.

"I wanted to be here for this historic moment," said Penn State freshman Ryan Belz, positioned to be the first member of the public to enter the courthouse.

Belz, of Millerton, Tioga County, said he arrived at 10:30 p.m. Monday.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, to be here to witness this," Belz said.

Lykens said her her thoughts were with the victims, some of whom are expected to speak during today's sentencing.

"This case affected the whole community," she said. "Anybody with a heart was moved by this."

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