The past year brought historic changes, democratic milestones, devastating tragedies, and acts of heroism that will never be forgotten.
In 2012 Anderson traveled across the country and around the world seeking the truth. He met people who were struggling against seemingly insurmountable odds: Syrian refugees, gunshot victims in Colorado, New Yorkers who lost everything they had, widows facing a harsh new reality.
There were crimes that divided communities and launched important conversations about discrimination and ethics. In some cases, justice was served. Convicted of child sex abuse, Jerry Sandusky will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Jason Carroll describes the emotional statements given by victims of Jerry Sandusky during his sentencing hearing.
In an audio statement made while he sits in a jail cell awaiting sentence, convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky says that while others make him out to be a monster, he is a falsely accused man who will continue to protest his innocence.
"They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can't take away my heart," the former coach at Penn State says. "In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts."
Sandusky co-counsel Karl Rominger confirmed the audio statement is legitimate.
"If he wants to say that, God bless the First Amendment," Rominger said.
Penn State University's ComRadio first aired the audio clip on its website Monday evening.
Sandusky, a 68-year-old former defensive coordinator who ran a charity after he retired from coaching, faces up to life in prison. He is scheduled to be the final speaker at a sentencing hearing Tuesday.
On the eve of his sentencing hearing, convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky releases a taped statement proclaiming his innocence. Anderson Cooper speaks to attorneys on both sides of the case.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s report came as no surprise to Sandusky’s victims, according to Justine Andronici who is an attorney for several of the young men. “Officials at Penn State University actively concealed a child predator in their midst,” Andronici tells Anderson Cooper.
Freeh’s report, which states that university leaders made a decision to prioritize their brand above the wellbeing of children, uncovered only part of the scandal according to Andronici. “We are conducting our own investigation,” she says. “We have no doubt that there’s more to come in this story.”
CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin says nothing in the report suggests there are more criminal charges to come. However, he seems to agree with Andronici’s point. “People generally do not become child molesters for the first time in middle age,” he says. “If they are gonna be child molesters, they start earlier.”
The civil suits the school now faces are much more problematic for Penn State. “Justine and her colleagues who are suing Penn State are gonna need wheelbarrows to carry all the money the juries are gonna give them,” Toobin tells Anderson.
Anderson Cooper examines evidence in the Freeh report that exposes how and why Penn State University officials concealed Jerry Sandusky's abuses.
After months of investigating, Former FBI Director Louis Freeh issued a report detailing the extraordinary failures of powerful officials at Penn State University to protect children from Jerry Sandusky's abuse. Freeh was charged with looking into how the school handled the scandal involving the former assistant football coach preying on young boys.
The 267-page report exposes the disturbing decisions made by university leaders to conceal Sandusky's crimes, allowing a child predator to continue victimizing children in a culture of secrecy. It also states that part of the motivation for a cover-up was to "avoid the consequences of bad publicity."
A lawyer representing several of Sandusky's victims tells Anderson Cooper what her clients think about Freeh’s findings. Justine Andronici says "they were not surprised by the scope of the cover up" and feel satisfied that the public is now aware that "the highest level officials at Penn State University actively concealed a child predator in their midst."
Watch a preview and see the full interview at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
Purported emails between Penn State officials raise questions about Joe Paterno's influence in handling Jerry Sandusky’s sex abuse crimes in 2001. Susan Candiotti reports.
A lawyer for one of Jerry Sandusky's victims reacts to emails between Penn State officials on dealing with suspicions of child sex abuse.
With convicted serial child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky behind bars, new questions are surfacing about what Penn State officials knew about a 2001 incident involving the former assistant football coach's encounter with a boy in the shower - and whether they covered up the incident.
Sandusky sexually abused other boys in the years after the 2001 incident and before his arrest.
CNN does not have the purported e-mails. However, the alleged contents were read to CNN.
The messages indicate former Penn State President Graham Spanier and two other former university officials knew they had a problem with Sandusky after a 2001 shower incident, but apparently first decided to handle it using a "humane" approach before contacting outside authorities whose job it is to investigate suspected abuse.
"This is a more humane and upfront way to handle this,' Gary Schultz, who was a university vice president at the time, allegedly wrote.