CRIME

Jerry Sandusky trial: Jury finds Sandusky guilty on 45 out of 48 charges of sexual abuse

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The end to one of the most notorious child sexual abuse cases in recent memory came Friday night, as former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 out of 48 charges of sexual abuse.

Penn State riot photos: Angry students take to streets after Paterno's firing

Penn State riot photos: Angry students take to streets after Paterno's firing 14 Photos
Penn State riot photos: Angry students take to streets after Paterno's firing
Jerry Sandusky was taken from the courthouse in handcuffs. Photo: AP
Photo: Associated Press

The jury deliberated about eight hours Thursday and 12 more hours Friday.

Sandusky was taken into police custody and led away from the courthouse in handcuffs.

Sentencing will be in about three months, but mandatory minimums will keep him behind bars for life.

"One of the recurring themes in this case was, 'Who would believe a kid?'" said Attorney General Linda Kelly. "The answer is, we in Bellefonte, Pa., would believe a kid."

Sandusky, a retired defensive coach who was once Paterno's heir apparent, showed little emotion as the verdict was read, giving his wife, Dottie, and family members a half-wave as the county sheriff led him away.

There were only three acquittals among the charges related to 10 victims, eight of whom took the stand to describe fondling, forced oral sex and anal rape. Many of the accusers testified that they had told no one of the abuse that dated as far back as the mid-1990s - not parents, not girlfriends and not police.

The verdict comes more than seven months after Sandusky, 68, was charged with sexually abusing ten boys over a 15-year period while at the university and in charge of a charity that worked with young and adolescent boys.

Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola said earlier Friday he would be shocked and "die of a heart attack" if his client were acquitted on all counts. The comments came during a 15-minute interview with reporters.

The interview ended with him being summoned into the chambers of Judge John Cleland, who's presided over the two-week trial. Cleland has issued a gag order barring lawyers from discussing the case.

It was a scandal that rocked the central Pennsylvania university, athletic program and the region known commonly as Happy Valley, and led to the resignations of the school's athletic director, vice president and the firing of the president and the legendary head football coach, Joe Paterno.

Witnesses and victims who testified in Sandusky's trial described lewd acts of sexual abuse and intimidation; one victim even testified that Sandusky said he would "keep him away from his family" if he told people about what was going on.

Others went into graphic detail about love letters they received from the coach and other forms of abuse.

The Sandusky case became public on Nov. 4, when Sandusky was indicted on dozens of sex charges against young boys. He was arrested the next day. The indictment included testimony from another assistant coach, Mike McQueary, who attested to walking in on Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in a locker room shower.

Investigators said that McQueary reported the incident to athletic director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz, both of whom later resigned in the face of perjury charges against them in connection to the case. Several days later, Penn State President Graham Spanier was fired as well.

The scandal reached a fever pitch, though, when Paterno, who had been the head coach of the Nittany Lions for more than 45 years, was fired on Nov. 10 for what the school's Board of Trustees called a "failure of leadership." He later admitted that he felt he could have done more to stop Sandusky.

Paterno died just more than two months later.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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