GUILTY! “Peen State” Coach Jerry Sandusky will likely rot to death in a jail cell, if he isn’t torn to pieces by his fellow inmates first.
After more than 20 hours of deliberation, the jury of seven women and five men returned the verdict Friday night. Sandusky was convicted of 45 of 48 counts charging him with abusing 10 boys over 15 years. Jury deliberations began Thursday.
When sentenced, Sandusky could face spending the rest of his life in prison. He was taken into custody in handcuffs after the verdict was read and his bail was revoked.
The case enveloped the Penn State campus in a national scandal and led to the ouster of iconic head football Coach Joe Paterno as well as university President Graham Spanier for failing to deal forcefully with reports that Sandusky had abused boys, sometimes in the showers at the school’s football facility. Paterno died in January of lung cancer.
Two other university officials are charged with failing to report the suspected abuse and with perjury related to their testimony before a grand jury investigating the scandal. The officials — athletic director Tim Curley, who is on leave, and retired Vice President Gary Schultz — await trial.
The prosecution took slightly more than four days to present 21 witnesses to support its claim that Sandusky was a predatory pedophile who found his victims through a charity, the Second Mile, that he founded for at-risk children.
Eight of the accusers testified, most in graphic and sometimes tearful detail about their relationships with Sandusky. Most said they enjoyed gifts and special attention from Sandusky. Some said they saw him as the father they never had.
But what began as a mentoring relationship escalated into the physical abuse, the accusers testified. Some said they were assaulted in the basement of the Sandusky home. Others described soapy showers that included forced sex acts.
The identities of two of the boys have never been ascertained; in those cases, two adults testified that they had witnessed abuse involving the unidentified boys. Mike McQueary — a graduate assistant and former Penn State football player, who became a coach in his own right at the university — emerged as a key prosecution witness.
McQueary told of the winter night in 2001 when he entered the university’s football facility and saw Sandusky with a naked boy, 10 or 12 years old, in the locker room showers. He described hearing the sounds of a sex act. McQueary said he slammed his locker door to let Sandusky know someone else was in the room. Later, he called his father, who told him to go to Paterno, who in turn went to his superiors.
It wasn’t until later investigations that the state brought the child abuse charges against Sandusky. The charges came in two waves last year.
The defense had fought hard to keep the trial in Bellefonte in the hope that Sandusky’s humanitarian and athletic reputation would help the case. More than half of the jurors said during the selection process that they had some connection to the university, as an employee, alumnus or just an avid football fan.
Sandusky’s attorneys presented his case in about three days, calling friends, neighbors and former sports colleagues to the stand. Led by Sandusky’s 69-year-old wife, Dottie, the character witnesses all insisted that they never saw Sandusky engage in any improper action with a young boy and that he was a good man.
The defense also questioned the quality of the investigations and why some of the witness accounts changed with the retelling of events over the years. The implications were that police had used their questioning to make the case look better, and that the accusers worked together to make their descriptions more graphic to help their expected future civil cases.
Lastly, the defense argued that Sandusky suffered from histrionic personality disorder, a condition that includes overly dramatic gestures that can be seen as seductive. The defense argued that the condition explained why Sandusky gave the boys gifts and in one case sent a love note to a child.
The prosecution countered that the gifts were intended to groom prospective victims.
The verdict does not mark the end of litigation. In addition to the criminal charges pending against the two college administrators, a slew of civil suits are expected by accusers.
Did anyone have any doubts he would be convicted? SMH. Nasty piece of isht. He’s facing up to 442 years in jail for his crimes. Here’s a real question for discussion, is life behind bars even enough of a punishment for a man who has destroyed so many innocent lives???
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