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Sandusky letters: The victims are to blame

NEED TO KNOW
  • Jerry Sandusky was convicted of multiple counts of child sex abuse
  • On Tuesday, he was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison
  • Letters written to the court by Sandusky and his wife blame the victims for a conspiracy against him
Sandusky heads to court for sentencing

Dottie Sandusky: I'm standing by my man!

Dottie Sandusky: I'm standing by my man!

Listen: Jerry Sandusky speaks from jail

Listen: Jerry Sandusky speaks from jail

Jerry Sandusky and Dottie Sandusky did not ask Judge John Cleland for leniency before his sentencing Tuesday on 45 child sex abuse convictions Tuesday.

Instead, the couple sent letters to Cleland laying the blame squarely on the victims for creating a vast conspiracy against the former Penn State assistant football coach.

"The system protected the system, the media, the prosecution, the civil attorneys and the accusers. Everybody protected themselves," Jerry Sandusky wrote.

In Session's legal experts say judges can be harder on defendants who blame others for their crimes and don't express remorse before sentencing. 

Cleland mentioned that he took the couple's letters into consideration when sentencing Sandusky, but he did not read them in open court.

CNN obtained the letters that give a snapshot of the Sanduskys' mindset before the former coach was sentenced to what is likely to be a life sentence for molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period. Sandusky will get his first chance at parole 30 years from now, when he is 98 years old.

Sandusky made a 15-minute statement during his sentencing that reiterated much of what he said in the letter he sent Cleland.

In his letter he wrote that his heart was broken.

"My trust in people, systems and fairness has diminished," Sandusky wrote. "In my heart I know I did not do these disgusting acts."

A sense of betrayal can be felt in Sandusky's letter. "Penn State, with its own system, protected their public image," he said. "Media protected their jobs and ambitions. Prosecutors protected their jobs and egos. The accusers were protected and provided access to potential financial gain, free attorneys, accolades, psychologists and attention."

Dottie Sandusky wrote about how the system betrayed her husband and about her disappointment, saying she has lost faith in the police and the legal system. "To think that they can lie and get by with the lies. The press has been unbelievable. People who have not met us are writing untruths."

The Sanduskys also attacked their adopted son, Matt, in the letters. The couple adopted him when he was 18. Matt Sandusky, now 33, told prosecutors during the trial that Sandusky had molested him. He did not testify at the trial. Dottie Sandusky's letter did not pull any punches when it came to her son.

"People need to know what kind of person he is," she wrote. "We have forgiven him many times for all he has done to our family, thinking that he was changing his life, but he would always go back to his stealing and lies. He has been diagnose (sic) Bipolar, but he refuses to take his medicine."

Matt's attorneys released the following statement responding to the Sanduskys' letters:

"Matt is extremely disappointed that Dottie and the [Sanduskys'] have decided to smear his character in attempt to deflected attention from Jerry Sandusky's heinous crimes.  Matt has shown tremendous courage and strength. [Rather] than supporting her son when he made the gut wrenching decision to come forward and tell the truth about the abuse he suffered at the hands of Jerry Sandusky, Dottie Sandusky has chosen to continue Jerry’s strategy of blaming and attacking the victims, thereby perpetuating the abuse," wrote Matt's attorneys in an email.

CNN reached out to Sandusky's attorneys for a comment, but they did not respond.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Joseph McGettigan described Sandusky's refusal to take responsibility for his actions as "banal, self-delusional, completely untethered from reality. It was entirely-self-focused, as if he himself were the victim."

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