Sandusky Verdict: Guilty on 45 Counts
After seven days of testimony and about 20 hours of deliberation, a Centre County jury has found Jerry Sandusky guilt on all but three of 48 criminal charges related to sexually abusing young boys.
Barring appeals, it seems almost certain that Sandusky, who is 68, will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Court officials announced at about 9:30 p.m. that the jury had reached a verdict and that court would convene in 20 minutes to receive the verdict. An order from Judge John Cleland barred reporters inside the courtroom from tweeting or sending electronic communications of any kind until court had adjourned, so it wasn’t until 10:10 p.m. that the news finally came.
Reports said that Sandusky was taken into custody immediately, pending sentencing.
Prosecutors initially charged Sandusky ’66, ’71g, the longtime Nittany Lion defensive coordinator and founder of the Second Mile charity, last November with 40 counts involving eight accusers. A month later they added 12 more counts and expanded the list of alleged victims to 10. Over the course of the trial this month, four counts were dropped.
In a surprising twist on Thursday, while the jury was deliberating, two new alleged victims surfaced: A man in Ohio told NBC’s Rock Center that Sandusky abused him more than 100 times; and one of Sandusky’s adopted sons, Matt Sandusky, said through his attorneys that he was prepared to testify that Sandusky had abused him as well. The jury presumably knew nothing about these new accusers, as they were sequestered at the time.
The case had its bizarre touches, such as the day when someone dressed as Pedobear showed up outside the courthouse and gave interviews to the media. And then there was defense attorney Karl Rominger ’98g tweeting trivia questions while the jurors deliberated. (One sample tweet: “This NSAID drug, a COX-2 inhibitor was linked to heart damage and withdrawn from the market.. What is?”)
Those of us who have watched the trial closely have found the coverage of the Citizens Voice in Wilkes-Barre and the Harrisburg Patriot-News worth following; there’s also been extensive coverage by the Centre Daily Times, StateCollege.com, and the Daily Collegian, as well as the live blog at Onward State, among many other media outlets.
Beyond the straight reporting of the news, Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports has had some very good insights and analysis along the way.
There is still so much more to come: the trials (not yet scheduled) of Gary Schultz ’71, ’75g and Tim Curley ’76, ’78g, accused of perjury and failure to report; the Freeh Group’s report to the trustees (coming perhaps as soon as next month); the results of a U.S. Justice Department investigation; and the possibility of civil suits against Sandusky and/or Penn State; among many other potential developments. In short, this story will be a part of our lives for some time to come.
Tina Hay, editor