After 21 hours of deliberations, a Pennsylvania jury found former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky guilty of 45 of 48 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
Sandusky, 68, appeared stunned as the jury read the verdict count by count. His sentencing will be in 90 days, and he could face life in prison.
Sandusky was taken into custody while his wife, Dottie, and four of their children watched in silence. In court, some of the victims and their families broke into tears, as cheers were heard on the streets of Bellefonte.
Sandusky’s arrest last November rocked the world of college sports, triggered a shakeup of college administration and led to the firing of one of college football’s most revered figures, coach Joe Paterno, who died two months later from lung cancer.
Eight alleged victims testified that Sandusky approached them through The Second Mile, his now-defunct charity for disadvantaged boys, bought them gifts, took them to football games and, ultimately, sexually assaulting them.
“He knows he did it,” prosecutor Joe McGettigan said in closing arguments as Sandusky stared at the jury, refusing to look at him. “Give them justice. Give him the justice he really deserves. Find him guilty of everything.”
The defense portrayed Sandusky as a victim of a vast conspiracy, contending the alleged victims were out for money and that the state cops coached the witnesses.
“They went after him, and I submit to you they were going to get him hell or high water,” his attorney, Joe Amendola, said in summations, adding that all his client wanted to do “was to help kids.”
Sandusky didn’t testify, but his wife Dottie briefly took the stand, saying she never witnessed abuse or heard anyone scream. She variously described the accusers as “a charmer” and “conniving.”
During deliberations, the jury asked for a read-back of the testimony of Mike McQueary, who said he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the Penn State locker room in 2001, and Dr. Jonathan Dranov, whom McQueary later told about it.
Matt Sandusky, one of Jerry Sandusky’s six adopted children, also has alleged that he, too, had been sexually abused by Jerry. “Of course they’re crushed,” Amendola told reporters. “Jerry denies it.”