HARRISBURG - Jerry Sandusky is distraught over the NCAA penalties issued to Penn State's football program for the school's handling of his child sexual abuse scandal and maintains his innocence as he awaits sentencing, his defense lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Joe Amendola told The Associated Press in a phone interview that Sandusky told him that even if people believe he is guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted in June, it would be "ridiculous" to think Penn State administrators engaged in a cover-up.
The NCAA imposed a multi-year bowl ban on Penn State, invalidated 112 wins, fined the school $60 million and took away future scholarships. The university leadership said the alternative could have been a complete ban on playing games and has acquiesced to the penalties.
Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including attacks on boys inside athletics facilities at Penn State, where he played college football and became a successful defensive coach under Joe Paterno.
"He said, 'To do what they're doing to Penn State is so unjust,'" Amendola said. "He loves the program and he loves the university."
Amendola said Sandusky has asked county jail officials to remove him from what is effectively solitary confinement.
"He continues to believe that the truth will come out at some point, and that he'll get another trial or another opportunity to establish his innocence," Amendola said.
Amendola said he expects sentencing will occur in September, although a date has not been set. Sandusky, who did not testify on his own behalf during the trial, has been writing a statement to read to Judge John Cleland at sentencing that will address all 10 sets of charges.
"Whether he winds up doing it despite what I tell him, is going to be up to him," Amendola said. "It's his life."
He said there may not be anything Sandusky can say to prevent an extended prison sentence, but Sandusky has "a fighting spirit" and is "cautiously optimistic."