Jerry Sandusky, facing hundreds of years in prison for sexually abusing children, will learn in three weeks whether he’s likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The former Penn State assistant football coach, convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 young boys, will be sentenced early next month, Senior Judge John Cleland ruled Monday.
A hearing on whether Sandusky, 68, should be classified as a sexually violent predator is set for 9 a.m. Oct. 9 at the Centre County Courthouse. Cleland, who presided over the trial, will sentence Sandusky immediately after the hearing, according to the order issued by the judge.
Cleland asked prosecutors and defense attorneys to submit any documents they feel will aid in sentencing by Oct. 5. A pre-sentencing hearing will be held in chambers at 2 p.m. Oct. 8.
Philadelphia-based defense attorney Tom Kline, who represents Victim 5, said he expects his client to either testify or provide a victim impact statement to the court.
“We expect to provide what is requested by the Attorney General’s Office to assure justice is achieved in Mr. Sandusky’s sentencing,” Kline said in an email.
Sandusky was convicted June 22 of meeting troubled young boys through his charity, The Second Mile, and sexually abusing them, sometimes on the Penn State campus.
Prosecutors have asked to have Sandusky classified as a sexually violent predator. Under Megan’s Law, criminals with that status must register their addresses and where they’re working with police when released from prison.
That may not ever happen in the case of Sandusky, who could spend the rest of his life in jail.
Sandusky defense attorney Joe Amendola has said his client is expected to make a statement before the sentence is handed down.
“Jerry remains in relatively good spirits and has spent more of his time in custody preparing for his sentencing and his appeal,” Amendola said in an email Monday.
Amendola said Sandusky plans to file appeals and is hopeful for a new trial. One of the defense’s grounds is expected to be that it did not have enough time to prepare for trial given the voluminous discovery materials and the number of victims.
Amendola had said he likely would have to become a witness and wouldn’t be able to represent Sandusky on the appeal.
Sandusky will have 10 days after the sentencing hearing to file post-sentence motions. The judge can take up to four months to rule on them, and if the judge does not rule in the defense’s favor, Sandusky has 30 days to appeal to the state Superior Court.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter. Staff writer Mike Dawson contributed to this report.