ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) - The similarities between what Jerry Sandusky and Michael Gardner said at their sentencings were "stunning" to Dan and Kristina Rice whose daughter was molested by Gardner. They see many parallels in the two cases, beginning with the fact that the two men had big reputations.
Gardner was an attorney and had been the head of the Falls Church Democratic party. His wife is a former Falls Church City mayor and councilmember.
Despite indisputable evidence which found Gardner's DNA on the crotch of one girl's underpants, which was key in the jury's conviction, friends and family members, including his wife, refuse to believe he did it. And on his sentencing day September 7th, Gardner offered no apology. Instead, he said he had been "falsely accused and wrongly convicted."
Dan and Kristina Rice were not surprised neither Sandusky nor Gardner admitted their crimes.
"They're still fighting it. They think there's a chance they can get out. If you're going to appeal, you can't really apologize. Also, they still both have wives that love them and families who support them. And if they ever did admit it, they could lose that," said Dan Rice.
While Jerry Sundusky, 68, will die in prison, having been sentenced to at least 30 years in prison, Gardner, 49, received 22 years behind bars.
"It's very frightening, because the fact is, Gardner could be out in his 70s and molesting children again."
Also, both Sandusky and Gardner blamed their victims at their sentencings. Gardner said in court, "A cry for help has been hijacked and that has cast us into darkness."
"Each of the parents though he was talking about their own daughter. We assumed it was our daughter, but each of the parents thought he was talking about their daughter. There wasn't one child. There were three children," said Kristina Rice.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Kacie Fisher says, "Pediphiles who act on their sexual fantasies, who concurrently have positions of status, power and authority, is that they tend to be highly narcissistic and have sociopathic tendencies."
She says they have incredibly inflated egos and are impervious to criticism, putting people in their lives who will support the image they've created.
"They tend to lead dual lives. They can enjoy these positions of status and power, while having secret dark fantasies that they may or may not act on, but typically involve gratifying these impulses to harm others, and they tend to never feel remorse," Dr. Fisher said.
She said they often create a web of lies and enjoy a rush when they act out their dark fantasies.
If they ever do admit to wrongdoing, they will make many excuses and rationalize and often blame the victim.
A major difference between the Sandusky case and Gardner's is that in Gardner's, the victims came forward immediately and were believed. The Rices' daughter learned about "good touch bad touch" at school and to tell a trusted adult if a "bad touch" ever happened.
But after the incident, she told her parents she wished she also been taught what do when the assault was happening. What she did do, and testified to in court, did get him to stop fondling her "girl part." She rolled over, knocking his hands off her, and pretended to wake up.