Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years.
"I have truly enjoyed my years as a prosecutor, but the opportunity to work with Dennis [McAndrews], for whom I have the highest professional respect and personal affection, presented just the ideal situation in which to work and continue to help victims," McGettigan said in a statement.
McGettigan prosecuted John E. duPont in the highly publicized 1996 murder of Olympic gold medal wrestler David Schultz. He said he at first did not anticipate the huge attention that surrounded the Sandusky case.
"Initially," he said, "I thought that the publicity would be limited and short-lived. Sandusky had been long retired from Penn State, and Centre County is removed from major media markets."
As he learned the facts, he said, he "realized that its full reach went well beyond a single retired coach."
McGettigan enters private practice with his cocounsel in the duPont prosecution, McAndrews.
His career as a prosecutor included serving as first assistant district attorney in Delaware County and Philadelphia, as a chief deputy in the Attorney General's Office, and as an assistant U.S. attorney. He tried mostly child-abuse and murder cases.
"Our firm is deeply gratified that Joe is joining our legal family," McAndrews said. "Joe's broad experience in working with victims of abuse and crime will be invaluable."
McGettigan spent a year in Iraq, where he worked in a U.S. Department of Justice and State Department program to help reestablish a criminal-justice system after the fall of Saddam Hussein. He has worked in private industry as a consultant and manager for Vance International, a private-security firm based in Washington, and for Bochco Media in Hollywood as a consultant for network TV productions about criminal law.
McGettigan graduated from Temple University and the University of San Diego School of Law.
Contact Jeff Gammage at 610-313-8205, email@example.com, or on Twitter @JeffGammage.