A jury found former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 child sex abuse charges on Friday, ending a trial that rocked U.S. college football and renewed attention on pedophilia in America.
Sandusky (68) faces potentially hundreds of years in prison for molesting 10 boys over 15 years. He was escorted immediately out of the courthouse in handcuffs and taken into an awaiting sheriff’s cruiser.
A large crowd that gathered outside the Centre County Courthouse in central Pennsylvania broke into cheers upon learning of the news.
One of the victims who had testified burst into tears as the verdict was read. Sandusky stood and faced the foreman and appeared expressionless, tucking his hands into his pockets.
His wife, Dottie, sitting behind him, showed no emotion.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly praised the eight victims, all now adults, who came forward to testify in the two-week trial that featured graphic sexual detail of Sandusky’s abuse.
The decision came after 21 hours of deliberation over two days by a jury of seven women and five men. Nine of the 16 jurors and alternates had ties to Pennsylvania State University, and the final days of the trial drew large crowds to the courthouse in central Pennsylvania.
The case cast a pall over a university community known as Happy Valley and cost legendary head coach Joe Paterno his job after a half-century career in which he won more games than any major college coach. Paterno died of lung cancer two months later at age 85.