BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — Jerry Sandusky was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, accusations that shattered the Happy Valley image of Penn State football and led to the firing of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno.
Sandusky, a 68-year-old retired defensive coach who was once Paterno's heir apparent, was found guilty of 45 of 48 counts.
Sandusky showed little emotion as the verdict was read. The judge ordered him to be taken to the county jail to await sentencing in about three months. He faces the possibility of life in prison.
The judge revoked Sandusky's bail and ordered him jailed. In court, Sandusky half-waved toward family as the sheriff led him away. Outside, he calmly walked to a sheriff's car with his hands cuffed in front of him.
As he was placed in the car, someone yelled at him to “rot in hell.” Others hurled insults and he shook his head no in response.
Almost immediately after the judge adjourned, loud cheers could be heard from at least a couple hundred people gathered outside the courthouse as word quickly spread that Sandusky had been convicted. The group included victim advocates and local residents with their kids. Many held up their smartphones to take pictures as people filtered out of the building.
Eight young men testified in a central Pennsylvania courtroom about a range of abuse, from kissing and massages to groping, oral sex and anal rape. For two other alleged victims, prosecutors relied on testimony from a university janitor and then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, whose account of a sexual encounter between Sandusky and a boy of about 10 ultimately led to the Paterno's dismissal and the university president's ouster.
Sandusky did not take the stand in his own defense.
He had repeatedly denied the allegations, and his defense suggested that his accusers had a financial motive to make up stories, years after the fact. His attorney also painted Sandusky as the victim of overzealous police investigators who coached the alleged victims into giving accusatory statements.
But jurors believed the testimony that, in the words of lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan III, Sandusky was a “predatory pedophile.”
One accuser testified that Sandusky molested him in the locker-room showers and in hotels while trying to ensure his silence with gifts and trips to bowl games. He also said Sandusky had sent him “creepy love letters.”
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