The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 11, 2012

In letters to judge, Sandusky, wife were defiant

HARRISBURG — Jerry and Dottie Sandusky wrote defiant letters to his judge before sentencing, attacking the motives of his victims, expressing a loss of faith in the judicial system and insisting he isn't a child molester.

The letters were released Thursday by Judge John Cleland, two days after he sentenced the former Penn State assistant coach to at least 30 years in prison for 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Dottie Sandusky wrote July 9 that she never saw her husband do anything inappropriate to any child, a statement that echoed her trial testimony. She was deeply critical of her son Matt Sandusky, who had been expected to be a defense witness until the trial, when he claimed to investigators he also had been abused by Jerry Sandusky.

Matt Sandusky has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, "but he refuses to take his medication," she wrote. "He has had many run-ins with the law and stolen money and items from our family."

Matt Sandusky's civil lawyer Joel Feller, who also represents at least five other victims or potential claimants, said the letters were part of a failed strategy to blame others for Jerry Sandusky's crimes.

"Matt is extremely disappointed that they have decided to attack him in what amounts to an effort to divert attention away from Jerry's heinous crimes," Feller said Thursday.

Jim Koval, director of communications for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, provided the letters on Cleland's behalf and said no other ones would be released.

"The letters from Jerry and Dottie Sandusky are the only letters the judge referred to in the sentencing hearing," Koval said. "Other letters received had no bearing on the sentencing."

Dottie Sandusky told Cleland she had lost faith in the legal system.

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