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Jury finds Jerry Sandusky guilty on dozens of child sex abuse charges

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 12:34 PM EDT, Sat June 23, 2012
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse in handcuffs after a jury found him guilty in his sex abuse trial on Friday, June 22. Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse in handcuffs after a jury found him guilty in his sex abuse trial on Friday, June 22.
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Jerry Sandusky convicted
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Penn State: "No verdict can undo the pain and suffering caused by Mr. Sandusky"
  • Sandusky's lawyer calls the outcome "expected ... because of the overwhelming evidence"
  • The ex- coach is guilty on 45 of 48 counts for sexually abusing boys over 15-years
  • He says he is not guilty, admitting to showering with boys but not abusing them

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- A jury convicted former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on 45 of 48 counts related to sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period, ending a painful chapter for victims and the Penn State community.

Jurors delivered the verdict around 10 p.m. Friday after deliberating for 21 hours.

There were convictions related to all 10 sexual abuse victims, with the three not-guilty verdicts applying to three different individuals.

Sandusky stood slightly hunched, looking down with his hand in his pocket but showing no visible emotion as the guilty verdicts were read out in court. His wife, Dottie, blinked back tears.

Reaction to the Sandusky verdict

Judge John Cleland revoked Sandusky's bail and ordered his arrest.

Sandusky left the courthouse in handcuffs, headed for a police car destined for the Centre County jail. When asked if he had anything to say to the victims, the 68-year-old remained silent as he ducked into the back seat of the car.

Watch Sandusky be lead out of court
Watch Sandusky be lead out of court
Reporter describes Sandusky's reaction
Sandusky attorney discusses appeal

"The Sandusky family is very disappointed by the verdict of the jury, but we respect their verdict," defense lawyer Joe Amendola told reporters gathered outside. Jeering crowds occasionally interrupted his comments.

At the same time, Amendola pointed to a "tidal wave of public opinion" against his client as one of several factors that led him to believe this outcome wasn't surprising.

"It was the expected outcome because of the overwhelming evidence against Jerry Sandusky," he said.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly, expressed satisfaction in the jury's decision to hold the ex-coach accountable. She was especially thankful for the victims who testified, in some cases many years after they were abused.

"It was incredibly difficult for some of them to unearth long buried memories of (what) they had suffered," Kelly said. "This trial was not something that they sought, but rather something that forced them to face the demons of their past."

Victim No. 6: Violation and vindication

Back inside the courtroom, the young man identified in court documents as Victim 6 was in tears as he hugged prosecutors.

Sandusky should be sentenced in about 90 days, the judge said.

Amendola indicated "we have some appeals we will pursue," though he did not elaborate.

The case has gripped the nation since last fall, when it led to the dismissal of legendary coach Joe Paterno and one of America's highest-paid university president, Graham Spanier.

The family of Paterno, who died in January, issued a statement Friday after the verdict.

"Although we understand the task of healing is just beginning, today's verdict is an important milestone," the statement said. "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 university, meanwhile, said it had "tremendous respect for the men who came forward to tell their stories publicly."

"No verdict can undo the pain and suffering caused by Mr. Sandusky, but we do hope this judgment helps the victims and their families along their path to healing," Penn State said in a statement.

Penn State said it will invite the victims to participate in a program to facilitate resolution.

"The university wants to provide a forum where the university can privately, expeditiously and fairly address the victims' concerns and compensate them for claims relating to the University."

During closing arguments, prosecutors described the ex-Nittany Lions defensive coordinator as a pedophile who preyed on victims using a charity he founded for troubled children, repeatedly abusing young boys in his care.

His defense sought to poke holes in the prosecution's case throughout the trial, such as pointing to inconsistencies in the testimony of Mike McQueary, a former graduate assistant who testified that he witnessed Sandusky apparently sodomizing a boy in a university shower.

Amendola reminded jurors of the lack of physical evidence in the case, accusing the alleged victims of conspiring for financial gain, while also blaming the media for what he described as biased coverage.

iReport: Share your reaction

Lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan rebuffed those arguments, telling jurors that "the commonwealth has overwhelming evidence against Mr. Sandusky."

In a bombshell announcement Thursday evening, Matt Sandusky -- one of Jerry Sandusky's six adopted children -- said through his attorney that he was sexually abused by the former coach, adding that he had been prepared to testify against him.

Legal analysts say the accusation could bring additional charges, including incest charges, against the former coach.

The broader scandal has also brought charges against vice president Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley for perjury and failing to report the abuse.

After a week of testimony, during which time witnesses graphically described sexual encounters with Sandusky that they said occurred during their boyhoods, jurors made their decision without ever having heard from Sandusky on the witness stand.

What Sandusky has said about child rape allegations

On Tuesday, Sandusky's wife told jurors that she could remember at least six of her husband's accusers staying overnight at their house, but that she never witnessed sexual abuse.

All you need to know about allegations, how case unraveled

Eight young men testified, often in disturbingly graphic detail, of how Sandusky forced them to engage in sexual acts in various places, including showers in the Penn State coaches' locker room, hotel rooms and the basement of his home.

One told jurors that Sandusky -- whom he met, like many of the accusers, through The Second Mile foundation that the ex-coach founded -- had threatened him if he told others about the abuse. Another said Sandusky warned him that he might send him home from a trip to Texas, where they'd gone to watch a Penn State bowl game.

The defense challenged the accusers' timetable, questioned the various allegations and called multiple character witness to defend Sandusky's stellar reputation in the community.

'The Sandusky 8' describe seduction, molestation and betrayal

Though Friday night's verdict prompted cheers outside the courtroom, inside, the mother of Victim 6 did not claim victory.

"Nobody wins. We've all lost," she said before hugging her son.

CNN's Elisa Roupenian, Susan Candiotti, Ross Levitt, Jason Carroll, Dana Garrett and Laura Dolan and In Session's Michael Christian and Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report.

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