World

Lawyer: Penn St. coach
still says he's not guilty

The retired Penn State assistant football coach convicted Friday of 45 counts for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years wants "people to know that he's not guilty," one of his lawyers said Monday.

Jerry Sandusky, the 68-year-old retired coach, is being kept under observation and away from other inmates pending a psychological review that will help determine the next step toward his sentencing, which is in about three months. Karl Rominger, who helped defend Sandusky, visited him at the Centre County jail.

"He's defiant and wants the truth to be told. He wants people to know that he's not guilty," Rominger said. "That would be his hope."

Sandusky's case brought down Penn State's legendary Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno, who died in January. He won more games than any other major college football coach.

Paterno was fired in November, following allegations that he did not do enough to stop the abuse after he was told in 2002 by then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary that he had seen Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the football team's showers.

Rominger told The Associated Press that Sandusky said he's not suicidal and that he wants to get the separate psychological examination done so that he can receive visits from his friends and family.

"He's fine but he's just not been evaluated," Rominger said.

"He is very disappointed to be in prison. He is anxious to get out of this suicide watch," Rominger said, adding that Sandusky told him: "If I have to keep sitting in this room for another three or four days without being able to talk to anybody, I might start to need help at that point."

Based on mandatory minimum sentences, Sandusky is certain to die in prison.

Sandusky's conviction is only just the start of possibly years of legal proceedings over the case. Besides appeals, there remains an active investigation into Sandusky by the state attorney general's office as well as a federal investigation.

Gov. Tom Corbett said Penn State trustees are still awaiting the results of an internal investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh into the school's handling of the Sandusky case.

Also Monday, Judge John Cleland ordered county probation officers to evaluate whether Sandusky is a sexual predator, a finding that could be a factor in his prison placement. Such orders are pro forma in sex abuse cases. Sex offenders are required to undergo treatment while in prison, so Sandusky, if deemed a predator, would likely be sent to a facility with such a program.

Earlier Monday, Corbett said that prosecutors needed about two years between the first report of child sexual abuse involving Sandusky and the filing of charges because authorities needed to build an "ironclad case" against him.

Corbett, then the state attorney general, oversaw the start of the investigation after the ex-coach was barred from a high school in 2009 when a mother complained about Sandusky. Charges were filed in November.

Corbett said the wisdom of the investigation's deliberate pace was evident in the jury's decisive verdict on Friday — convicting Sandusky on all but three counts.

Corbett also defended the speed with which Sandusky's case went from grand jury presentment to trial — seven months.

Sandusky defense attorney Joe Amendola has said he and Rominger didn't have enough time to prepare for trial and even asked to withdraw from the case because of it.

The current state attorney general, Linda Kelly, told NBC's "Today" show that all parties involved knew the judge intended to move quickly. She said prosecutors supported that decision because Sandusky was on house arrest while awaiting trial.

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