Lehigh Valley

Psychologist Veronique Valliere describes what may be Jerry Sandusky's mindset

Psychologist describes what may be Sandusky's mindset

After months of being in the national spotlight for sexually abusing young boys, Jerry Sandusky speaks out on his own behalf both on the eve of his sentencing and during his sentencing, proclaiming his innocence.

"They can take away my life, they can make me out as a monster, they can treat me as a monster but they can't take away my heart," said Sandusky in a taped statement aired Monday night on Penn State Com Radio.

During his taped statement and in court on Tuesday, Sandusky repeatedly proclaimed his innocence and blamed others for his circumstance, something Dr. Veronique Valliere, who owns and operates a violent offender program in Lehigh County, says is commonplace.

"It's much easier to feel yourself as a victim and have other people see you as a victim of the system or of vindictive children or whoever the accuser is than to admit that you've lived a double life," said Valliere.

Valliere adds support from family members and others can also strengthen the accused to deny any wrongdoing.

"A potential loss of that support system can be very costly to the offender so they will hang out to maintaining their innocence at all costs," Valliere said.

For someone like Sandusky, Valliere says successfully living a double life for decades may be too hard to give up.

"Their secret and offending life is so hidden that to give that up, to give up that persona or to reveal the secret life is incredibly difficult and the pull of maintaining that is very powerful for them," she said.

The judge in the case also determined that Sandusky would be classified as a sexually violent predator, mandating that he register as a sex offender if he's ever released from prison.

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