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Ex-Penn State assistant coach Sandusky convicted of sexual assault

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, accusations that shattered Penn State University 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.

He looked down as the verdict was read. The judge revoked his bail and ordered him to be taken to the county jail to await sentencing in about three months. Many of the charges carry mandatory minimum sentences, and Sandusky is certain to spend the rest of his life in prison.

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.

Late Friday, his mother said: "Nobody wins. We've all lost."

Almost immediately after the judge adjourned, loud cheers could be heard from a couple of hundred people gathered outside the courthouse as word quickly spread that Sandusky had been convicted. The crowd included victim advocates and local residents with their kids.

As Sandusky was placed in the cruiser to be taken to jail, someone yelled at him to "rot in hell." Others hurled insults and he shook his head no in response.

Eight young men testified 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 firings of Paterno and university president Graham Spanier.

Sandusky did not testify.

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 on campus 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.

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.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly thanked the accusers who testified, calling them "brave men."

She said she hoped the verdict "helps these victims heal . . . and helps other victims of abuse to come forward."

She said: "One of the recurring themes in this case was, 'Who would believe a kid?' The answer is, 'We here in Bellefonte, Pa., would believe a kid.' "

Ex-Penn State assistant coach Sandusky convicted of sexual assault 06/22/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 23, 2012 12:15am]

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