Jerry Sandusky faces sentencing Tuesday on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, and what he gets will be decided by Judge John Cleland, but the state's sentencing guidelines will factor into the equation.
Key elements involved, drawn largely from an analysis by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing:
- Sandusky was convicted of 10 sets of crimes involving 10 victims. Cleland may decide to impose sets of sentences based on each of those criminal episodes, and if so, some of the charges for each episode could be merged for sentencing purposes and not affect how many years he will get.
- The most serious offenses are eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, a crime that involves oral or anal sex. Depending when the offenses occurred, they carry mandatory minimum sentences of five or 10 years.
- His other convictions are seven counts of indecent assault, 10 counts of corruption of minors, 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children, nine counts of unlawful contact with minors, and one count of attempted indecent assault.
- The statutory minimum sentences for those 45 counts add up to 220 years; the maximum sentences add up to 440 years, but it's highly unlikely the judge would issue anything like a 220- to 440-year term. In theory, the lowest sentence he could receive is 10 years, where one of the mandatory minimums is imposed and all other counts run concurrent with it.
- There are also ``mitigated,'' ``standard'' and ``aggravated'' ranges for each count. For example, for the first count, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse involving Victim 1, the mitigated range is 36 months, the standard range is 48 to 66 months, and the aggravated range is 78 months, but the mandatory minimum is 10 years. If Cleland departs from the standard range for any count, he has to state his reason on the record.
- Cleland will determine which counts, if any, run concurrent with one another and which run consecutively.
- If Sandusky gets at least two years, he will serve his sentence in state prison. Otherwise, he would serve time in a county jail.