Jerry Sandusky found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

The nine-day trial of Jerry Sandusky concluded Friday evening with the former Penn State defensive coordinator convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse.

Jurors deliberated for nearly two days following Thursday morning's closing arguments before delivering their verdict at approximately 10 p.m. Friday. The decision was met with a chorus of cheers from a crowd of hundreds that had gathered outside the Centre County courthouse.

Sandusky faced 48 counts of abuse committed against 10 different victims, 26 of which were felonies. He has been convicted of 25 of those felonies and faces a maximum prison sentence of 442 years.

"Justice has been served," victim attorney Ben Andreozzi told CBS News. "There was a mountain of evidence."

Sandusky's bail has been revoked and he will remain in jail until his sentencing, scheduled in 90 days. His attorneys have promised they will appeal the decision.

Sandusky had pleaded not guilty to all charges, but earlier Friday his attorney Joe Amendola told reporters he would "probably die of a heart attack" if his client was acquitted on all 48 counts.

"It was the expected outcome, because of the overwhelming amount of evidence against jerry Sandusky," Amendola told the media, including CBS News, after the verdict.

"(Sandusky) had been determined to be guilty by the public and the media from the very outset of the charges, and that we had an uphill battle. I use the analogy: we were attempting to climb Mount Everest from the bottom of the mount. Obviously we didn't make it."

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The jury deliberated for more than eight hours Thursday before reconvening Friday to have the testimony of former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary read back to them. The jurors also asked for details from Judge John Cleland concerning charges connected to the victim known as Victim 8, then restarted deliberations.

Sandusky was accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, using his charity for at-risk youth, The Second Mile, as a source of victims. His adopted son, Matt Sandusky, had also met Sandusky through the charity before also accusing his adopted father of sexual abuse this week.

Prosecutors presented four days of graphic testimony from Sandusky's alleged victims last week, all of whom maintained that they were molested, raped or otherwise abused by the coach as minors, most of them on multiple occasions.

"He molested and abused and hurt these children horribly," Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan III told the jury in closing statements Thursday. "He knows he did it and you know he did it.

"Find him guilty of everything."

The defense portrayed Sandusky as the hapless victim of a conspiracy to convict him of heinous crimes. They explained the 48 charges against him as the result of an investigatory team out for blood and accusers who willingly played along in hopes of securing a big payday.

A verdict-by-verdict breakdown shows the only "not guilty" decisions delivered by the jury were on two charges of indecent assault against Victims 5 and 6, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse against Victim 2.

The legal fallout from Sandusky's abuse may be just beginning. Tom Kline, attorney for Victim 5, told CBS This Morning that Penn State is facing substantial civil liability.

"Now that the attention will shift away from the perpetrator, we have to look at what I call the enabler," Kiline said. "And there's no doubt that Penn State has responsibility here, just from what we know, that's reported publicly and just from what we've uncovered in our initial investigation."

Tim Curley, who temporarily stepped down as Nittany Lions athletic director, and now-retired vice president Gary Schultz are charged with lying to a grand jury about what they knew of the 2001 assault witnessed by McQueary.

On Friday, a judge in Harrisburg scheduled a July 11 status conference with lawyers for Curley and Schultz, who are also charged with failing to properly report suspected child abuse to authorities. They are fighting the charges and await trial.

Sandusky had initially faced 52 counts of sexual abuse. Cleland dropped four counts during the trial, saying two were unproven, one was brought under a statute that didn't apply and another was duplicative.

Information from the Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.

 
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