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Jerry Sandusky's victims said to be largely satisfied with sex abuse sentence

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sat impassively as three of his victims told the court of the psychological effects of Sanduksy's abuse when they were young boys. NBC's John Yang reports.

Several victims of child sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky are "satisfied" and "happy" to know that the former Penn State assistant football coach will almost certainly die in prison, their attorneys told NBC News on Tuesday.

Karen Araiza and Josh Kleinbaum of NBC station WCAU of Philadelphia and Thomas Roberts of MSNBC-TV contributed to this report. Follow M. Alex Johnson on Twitter and Facebook.

Sandusky — who was defensive coordinator for Penn State's powerful football team for three decades — was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison Tuesday in Bellefonte, Pa., for abusing 10 boys he met over 15 years through his Second Mile charity for troubled children.

Sandusky, 68, could have faced more than 400 years for his convictions on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, but McKean County Common Pleas Court Judge John Cleland chose to follow state sentencing guidelines. Even with the shorter sentence, Cleland told Sandusky that the sentence means he will remain locked up "for the rest of your life."


That's the important thing, said Matt Casey, an attorney for Victims 3, 7 and 10, none of whom NBC News is identifying.

"They have confidence that Judge (John) Cleland took his obligations seriously," Casey said in an interview with NBC 10 of Philadelphia. "Jerry Sandusky is never going to get out of prison."

Casey acknowledged that the sentence was shorter than he had expected, saying, "If you walk through the individual accounts, there may be some sentences that we might take issue with."

Read the full sentencing order (.pdf)

But "the man is going to die in prison," he said. "That he will never be able to do this to anyone else probably was the most important part of this for our clients."

Jeffrey Fritz, the attorney for other victims — including the young man identified in the indictment as Victim 4, who angrily addressed Sandusky in court Tuesday — said the young man was "happy to know that Jerry Sandusky will live the rest of his life in prison."

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Victim 4 told Sandusky: "You should be ashamed, and those who covered up should be held accountable for your actions. I don't forgive you, and I don't know that I ever will."

Another of Sandusky's victims told the court that the sentencing "will never erase what he did to me — it will never make me whole. I will never erase his naked body against me.

"But he must pay for his crimes, which he has been properly been convicted of," the young man said.

Fritz told NBC News that all of the young men continue to undergo counseling, but he said it was time to stop calling them "victims."

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"What's important to note today is these are victims that are transitioning into survivors, and they're no longer victims," he said. "They are doing what they can to move on with their life as best they can, despite the horror."

Correction: Jeffrey Fritz, an attorney for a victim in the Jerry Sandusky case, said it was time to stop calling the young men “victims.” An earlier version of this report incorrectly attributed the statement.  

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