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posted: 10/8/2012 1:55 PM

Lawyer certain Sandusky will speak at sentencing

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Associated Press

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Jerry Sandusky's lawyer said Monday "it's as certain as certain can be" that the former Penn State assistant football coach will address the judge and assert his innocence before he is sentenced on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Nobody else is expected to speak on Sandusky's behalf during the sentencing hearing Tuesday in Bellefonte, defense attorney Joe Amendola said.

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"What I anticipate he'll say is that he's innocent," Amendola said outside the courthouse.

The attorney said others, including Sandusky's wife, have submitted letters on his behalf and that Dottie Sandusky stands by her husband and will attend the sentencing.

"He's going to fight for a new trial," Amendola said. He said "the important thing" about sentencing for the defense "is it starts the appellate process."

Amendola made the comments Monday afternoon before he participated in a closed-door meeting with prosecutors and Judge John Cleland to discuss hearing logistics. Lawyers for the attorney general's office said they would comment to reporters after the meeting.

Sentencing is expected to begin with a hearing to determine if Sandusky qualifies as a sexually violent predator under Pennsylvania's version of Megan's Law, after which Sandusky will be sentenced.

The 68-year-old former Penn State assistant football coach will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, given his age and serious nature of his convictions. Several of the counts carry mandatory minimum sentences of five or 10 years.

Sandusky was convicted in June of abusing 10 boys over 15 years, including some attacks inside university athletic facilities.

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