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Dottie Sandusky in letter to judge: 'Jerry is not the monster everyone is making him out to be'

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, afrrive at a courthouse for a pre-trial hearing in December.

The Common Pleas Court in McKean County, Pa., has released a letter that Dottie Sandusky wrote to Judge John Cleland after her husband, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse and before he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years for those crimes.

Dottie Sandusky attended the sentencing Tuesday for her husband, who was defensive coordinator and for many years the presumed heir-apparent to legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. The case shook the university, resulting in the firing of Paterno and the departure of the president and other officials.

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Here is Dottie Sandusky's letter:

Dear Judge Cleland:

I am Dottie Sandusky, Jerry Sandusky's wife of 46 years in September. It is with a heavy heart I write this to you. I have known Jerry for 47 years and he has always been truthful with me, even if it hurt. He is a very up front man and a man of very high morals.


 

Jerry always put others before himself and always wanted to make each person feel special no matter who they were. Like all of us he has his faults, one is he cares so much for people always wanting them to reach their potential. Therefore he pushes them hard. One 42 year old man who was in the Second Mile stopped by the other day and told me how thankful he is to Jerry for pushing him to be the best he could be. He said, "What I learned from Jerry has made me a better husband and father." This is a young man who had many strikes against him.

Read the full sentencing order (.pdf) 

Jerry was a wonderful father to our six children. We thank God each day for bringing them into our life. He treated each one as if they were our biological children. Our house was a fun house with lots of games, picnics, laughs and caring. There were always lots of people around whether it was friends of our kids, Second Mile kids or neighbors.

I never saw him doing anything inappropriate to any child, if I had, as a Mother and Grandmother I would have taken action. Jerry is not the monster everyone is making him out to be.

Jerry Sandusky, who is officially labeled a sexually violent predator, will be transferred from county jail to state prison next week to begin serving what amounts to a life in prison following Tuesday's sentencing. NBC's Michael Isikoff reports.

Many times he would give up much of his free time, which was not many hours when he was a coach, to make a sporting event of one of the kids he was trying to help. Sometimes we would drive two hours to spend time with these kids.

Legal analysis: Sandusky sentencing was logical and reasonable 

One of the accusers called Jerry and said he could not do his school work because his computer broke and Jerry found a used computer that someone was not using and gave it to him. Fact is most of the things he gave to the accusers were used or given to him by people who wanted to help these young men.

I use to believe in our protective system, but now have no faith in the police or 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.

As far as our son Matt goes, people need to know what kind of person he is. 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 with Bipolar, but he refuses to take his medicine. He has had many run-ins with the law and stolen money and items from our family. We still love him and want the best for him, but because of his actions we cannot express this to him.

I pray each day that God will give me the strength to do what is right and that I will be able to hold our family together.

Thank you for listening.

Sincerely,

Dorothy D. Sandusky

Transcript: Full radio statement from Jerry Sandusky

Related: Audio of Sandusky's statement on Penn State student station

Jerry Sandusky made a surprise statement before his sentencing and also made a statement at the hearing, insisting that "I didn't do these alleged disgusting acts."

Sandusky said he had "hope in my heart for a brighter day, not knowing when that day will come."

"Many moments I have spent looking for a purpose," he said. "Maybe it will help others — some vulnerable children who may have been abused may not be as a result of all the publicity — but I'm not sure about it. I would hope that it would happen." 

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.

This article includes reporting by Karen Araiza of Philadelphia's NBC10 and NBC News staff.

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