Jerry Sandusky, ex-Penn State Coach, Guilty on 45 of 48 Sex Abuse Counts

ABC News
Jerry Sandusky, ex-Penn State Coach, Guilty on 45 of 48 Sex Abuse Counts
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Jerry Sandusky, ex-Penn State Coach, Guilty on 45 of 48 Sex Abuse Counts (ABC News)

Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty of nearly all of the allegations of child sex abuse leveled against him.

After 20 hours of sequestered deliberations, the jury of seven women and five men read 45 "guilty" verdicts late Friday as Sandusky stood and looked at the jury with his left hand in a pocket of his brown sport coat. There were three not-guilty verdicts.

One of the victims -- identified as Victim 6 during the proceedings -- was surrounded by his family and they cried as the verdict was read.

After court was adjourned, the former Penn State defensive coordinator was led in handcuffs to a waiting police car to be taken to the local county jail.

Sandusky likely will be sentenced to life in prison. He faces a maximum sentence of 442 years and will be sentenced in approximately 90 days.

Sandusky's wife, Dottie, looked forward stoically as the counts were read off and her husband repeatedly was found guilty. At one point, dozens of counts in, she started shaking her head.

Sandusky's daughter, Kara, broke down as her dad was handcuffed, and held her hand over her heart as her father walked out of court.

The jury found Sandusky not guilty of three sex abuse crimes, including the alleged rape of Victim 2, the boy assistant coach Mike McQueary said he saw being raped by Sandusky in a Penn State locker room shower in 2001. He was also acquitted of indecent assault on Victim 5, who testified in court, and Victim 8, who was the subject of an eyewitness account from a Penn State janitor.

Sandusky and his lawyers, along with prosecutors, had been summoned to court to hear the verdict. Assembled spectators shouted jeers such as "pervert" as Sandusky and his wife walked into the courthouse lit up by flashbulb bursts.

The crowd of hundreds outside the courthouse let out a cheer as word emerged that Sandusky was guilty.

After the verdict, Attorney General Linda Kelly said the jury believed that Sandusky "calculatingly and with meticulous planning mercilessly preyed" upon his victims.

"The jury here in Bellefonte, Pa., would and did believe a kid," she said, referring to testimony by Sandusky's victims. "I hope this outcome allows the victims to heal and encourages other victims to come forward."

Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, said the defense plans to appeal the guilty verdicts, arguing it was not prepared to go to trial as soon as the judge ordered.

"The Sandusky family is very disappointed, obviously, by the verdict of the jury but we respect their verdict," he said. "We had a tidal wave of public opinion against Jerry Sandusky."

He added that Sandusky fully planned to testify in his own defense, but the plan to have him do so was scuttled when the prosecution threatened to have Matt Sandusky, his adopted son, testify as a rebuttal witness that he was molested by his father.

After the verdict, the family of the late Joe Paterno, the legendary Penn State head coach who was Sandusky's boss, released a statement.

"Although we understand the task of healing is just beginning, today's verdict is an important milestone," it read. "The community owes a measure of gratitude to the jurors for their diligent service. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and their families."

The two-week trial was remarkable for the graphic tales of abuse that ranged from Sandusky playing tickle monster in the shower to aggressive sex including oral and anal sex on boys as young as 8. At one point, jurors were brought to tears by the testimony of the alleged victims who are now grown men.

The defense scored some points back during week two of the trial by putting Sandusky's wife on the stand and hearing her testify that she never saw anything inappropriate between her husband and children and knew some of the accusers to have behavioral issues. They also poked holes in the stories of two lead investigators on the case by showing that the men told potential victims that others had already come forward claiming Sandusky raped them.

During 30 hours of testimony over two weeks, the jury heard from eight accusers, one eyewitness, a string of character witnesses testifying to Sandusky's character, and members of the police who investigated the case.

Two people the jury did not hear from include Sandusky himself, who waived his right to testify, and Sandusky's adopted son Matt. Matt Sandusky was one of his father's most ardent supporters following Sandusky's November arrest, but contacted prosecutors at the end of last week saying he was, in fact, a victim of his father's abuse and would be willing to testify, sources told ABC News. The prosecution did not put him on the stand, and the revelations about Matt Sandusky's willingness to testify are not known by the jury and will not factor into deliberations.

ABC News' Michael S. James and Brian Hartman contributed to this report.

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