Official: Sandusky jury has reached verdict

By Genaro C. Armas and Mark Scolforo/The Associated Press

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — 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.

The accuser known in court papers as Victim 6 broke down in tears upon hearing the verdicts in the courtroom. Afterward, a prosecutor embraced him and said, “Did I ever lie to you?”

The man, now 25, testified that Sandusky called himself the “tickle monster” in a shower assault. He declined to comment to a reporter afterward.

His mother said: “Nobody wins. We’ve all lost.”

Almost immediately after the judge adjourned, loud cheers could be heard from 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.

After the verdict was announced, defense attorney Karl Rominger said it was “a tough case” with a lot of charges and that an appeal was certain. He said the defense team “didn’t exactly have a lot of time to prepare.”

The ex-coach 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.”

Another spoke of forced oral sex and instances of rape in the basement of Sandusky’s home, including abuse that left him bleeding. He said he once tried to scream for help, knowing that Sandusky’s wife was upstairs, but figured the basement must be soundproof.

Another, a foster child, said Sandusky warned that he would never see his family again if he ever told anyone what happened.

And just hours after the case went to jurors, lawyers for one of Sandusky’s six adopted children, Matt, said he had told authorities that his father abused him.

Matt Sandusky had been prepared to testify on behalf of prosecutors, the statement said. The lawyers said they arranged for Matt Sandusky to meet with law enforcement officials but did not explain why he didn’t testify.

“This has been an extremely painful experience for Matt and he has asked us to convey his request that the media respect his privacy,” the statement said. It didn’t go into details about his allegations.

Defense witnesses, including Jerry Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, described his philanthropic work with children over the years, and many spoke in positive terms about his reputation in the community. Prosecutors had portrayed those efforts as an effective means by which Sandusky could camouflage his molestation as he targeted boys who were the same age as participants in The Second Mile, a charity he founded in the 1970s for at-risk youth.

Sandusky’s arrest in November led the Penn State trustees to fire Paterno as head coach, saying he exhibited a lack of leadership after fielding a report from McQueary. The scandal also led to the ouster of university president Graham Spanier, and criminal charges against two university administrators for failing to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury.

The two administrators, athletic director Tim Curley and now-retired vice president Gary Schultz, are fighting the allegations and await trial.

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

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The Associated Press
The main players in the Penn State scandal:

JERRY SANDUSKY

Role: Former assistant football coach and founder of The Second Mile charity for children, convicted of molesting boys over a 15-year period.

Background: Arrested in November after a long investigation by a statewide grand jury. He had been a successful defensive coach for the Nittany Lions for 30 years, and prosecutors say he used his fame in the community to attract victims.

Charges: Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault of a young child, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children.

Status: Sandusky was found guilty of 45 of 48 counts. 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.

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DOTTIE SANDUSKY

Role: Married to Jerry Sandusky.

Background: Dottie Sandusky has stood by her husband, posting his bail, accompanying him to court proceedings and issuing a statement in December that proclaimed his innocence and said accusers were making up stories. She is not charged. She testified June 19 on her husband’s behalf.

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TIM CURLEY

Role: Penn State athletic director, on leave while he fights criminal charges for actions related to the Sandusky scandal.

Background: Curley fielded a complaint about Sandusky in a team shower with a boy in early 2001, and told a grand jury he instructed Sandusky not to be inside Penn State athletic facilities with any young people.

Charges: Failure to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury for lying to the grand jury. He’s not on trial with Sandusky, denies the allegations and is seeking to have the charges dismissed.

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GARY SCHULTZ

Role: Penn State vice president for business and finance, now retired.

Background: Schultz told the grand jury that head coach Joe Paterno and assistant Mike McQueary reported the 2001 shower incident “in a very general way” but did not provide details.

Charges: Failure to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury for lying to the grand jury. He’s not on trial with Sandusky, denies the allegations and is seeking to have the charges dismissed.

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MIKE MCQUEARY

Role: Assistant Penn State football coach. Was a graduate assistant in 2001, when he says he witnessed Jerry Sandusky and a boy naked together in a team shower. McQueary took his complaint to Paterno, who alerted university administrators.

Background: McQueary testified in court June 12 that he had “no doubt” Sandusky was having some type of intercourse with the boy.

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JOE AMENDOLA

Role: Defense attorney for Jerry Sandusky.

Background: Amendola has been second-guessed for allowing Sandusky to go on network television and speak at length with a reporter for The New York Times after his arrest. Has won several legal battles for Sandusky, including getting him released on bail and fighting the prosecution’s effort to have the case heard by a jury from outside the State College area. His office is in State College.

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KARL ROMINGER

Role: Another defense attorney for Jerry Sandusky.

Background: Rominger suggested in media interviews that Sandusky might have been teaching “basic hygiene skills” to some of the youths, such as how to put soap on their bodies. His office is in Carlisle.

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JOSEPH McGETTIGAN III

Role: Lead prosecutor.

Background: McGettigan, currently senior deputy attorney general, is a veteran prosecutor with stints in the Philadelphia and Delaware County district attorneys’ offices and the U.S. attorney’s office. McGettigan prosecuted John du Pont, the chemical fortune heir who killed an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler at his palatial estate in 1996. He’s known as an aggressive, feisty lawyer.

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JOHN CLELAND

Role: Judge presiding over Sandusky’s trial.

Background: Cleland is a semi-retired senior judge from McKean County in western Pennsylvania. Known as courteous and fair-minded, Cleland previously chaired a state panel that investigated a nationally reported scandal in Luzerne County involving the trading of juvenile-detention suspects for cash.

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JOE PATERNO

Role: The longtime football coach was told by McQueary in 2001 that he saw Sandusky and Victim No. 2 in a shower on the Penn State campus and, in turn, told Curley and Schultz.

Background: The head coach at Penn State from 1966 through 2011, and major college football’s winningest, he offered to resign at the end of the 2011 season amid the uproar after Sandusky’s arrest Nov. 6. The Penn State Board of Trustees, however, ousted him for what was called his “failure of leadership” surrounding allegations about Sandusky. He died of lung cancer Jan. 22.

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SUE PATERNO

Role: Married to Joe Paterno for almost 50 years, she raised five children with him and passionately defended her husband during the scandal and after he died. She is among the Sandusky defense team’s potential trial witnesses.

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TOM CORBETT

Role: Now the governor of Pennsylvania, he was attorney general when the investigation into Sandusky was launched by state prosecutors.

Background: Corbett is an ex-officio member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, although he did not actively participate until after Sandusky was charged in December.

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LINDA KELLY

Role: Pennsylvania attorney general, whose office is prosecuting Sandusky.

Background: A career prosecutor in the Pittsburgh area, Kelly inherited the Sandusky probe from Corbett when she was confirmed as his temporary successor as attorney general. She leaves office in January.

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FRANK NOONAN

Role: Pennsylvania State Police commissioner.

Background: Noonan garnered national attention two days after Sandusky’s arrest when he criticized Paterno, a Penn State and sports icon, for failing his “moral responsibility” to do more when McQueary told him of the 2001 shower incident.

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JACK RAYKOVITZ

Role: Former CEO of The Second Mile, the charity Jerry Sandusky founded.

Background: Raykovitz led the charity for almost 30 years and was a longtime friend of Sandusky’s. Raykovitz testified before the grand jury that recommended indicting Sandusky on child abuse charges. He resigned from The Second Mile soon after the scandal broke, and board members later complained that Raykovitz hadn’t told them enough about earlier allegations against Sandusky.