WILKES-BARRE - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is maintaining his innocence but told a northeastern Pennsylvania newspaper that he is "trying to learn from" his circumstance as he focuses on an appeal of his conviction on child sex abuse charges.
The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens' Voice said Sandusky sent a handwritten note from his western Pennsylvania prison cell declining an interview request, saying his attorneys have told him to stay quiet.
Jurors in central Pennsylvania last summer convicted 68-year-old Sandusky of 45 of 48 counts involving 10 victims, and he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison. A hearing is slated Jan. 10 in Bellefonte on his post-trial motions, the first step in the appeals process.
"Right now our focus is on the appeal," Sandusky wrote from his cell in the State Correctional Institution at Greene in Waynesburg, 50 miles south of Pittsburgh. "There is much to learn, issues and information not presented. Nobody who covered the case and reported it had the time or took the time to study the allegations, the accusers, the inconsistency, and the methods. Justice and fairness were not a focus."
Sandusky closed the note on an inspirational note similar to his 2000 autobiography, "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story," and letters he wrote to youth participants in his Second Mile charity, including some who later accused him of abuse.
"I'm trying to learn from, grow from, and endure the struggle and circumstances," Sandusky wrote. His mantra, he said, is "ENDURE," with each letter taking on spiritual and motivational significance.
The Department of Corrections said Sandusky eats all of his meals in his cell, and is allowed a television and a radio but cannot watch violent movies or read books and magazines with graphic content. He can worship, but cannot go to the prison chapel, and can see visitors, but can't touch them, and his only time away from his cell is for exercise - one hour per day, five days per week - and for showers, three times per week.