Jerry Sandusky, ex-Penn State Coach, Guilty on 45 of 48 Sex Abuse Counts

Sandusky could spend the rest of his life in prison.

ByABC News
June 21, 2012, 6:12 PM

BELLEFONTE, Pa., June 22, 2012— -- Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty of nearly all of the allegations of child sex abuse leveled against him.

After 20 hours of sequestered deliberations, the jury of seven women and five men read 45 "guilty" verdicts late Friday as Sandusky stood and looked at the jury with his left hand in a pocket of his brown sport coat. There were three not-guilty verdicts.

One of the victims -- identified as Victim 6 during the proceedings -- was surrounded by his family and they cried as the verdict was read.

After court was adjourned, the former Penn State defensive coordinator was led in handcuffs to a waiting police car to be taken to the local county jail.

"The legal process has spoken and we have 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 president Rodney Erickson said in a statement.

Sandusky likely will be sentenced to life in prison. He faces a maximum sentence of 442 years and will be sentenced in approximately 90 days.

Sandusky's wife, Dottie, looked forward stoically as the counts were read off and her husband repeatedly was found guilty. At one point, dozens of counts in, she started shaking her head.

Sandusky's daughter, Kara, broke down as her dad was handcuffed, and held her hand over her heart as her father walked out of court.

The jury found Sandusky not guilty of three sex abuse crimes, including the alleged rape of Victim 2, the boy assistant coach Mike McQueary said he saw being raped by Sandusky in a Penn State locker room shower in 2001. He was also acquitted of indecent assault on Victim 5, who testified in court, and Victim 8, who was the subject of an eyewitness account from a Penn State janitor.

Sandusky and his lawyers, along with prosecutors, had been summoned to court to hear the verdict. Assembled spectators shouted jeers such as "pervert" as Sandusky and his wife walked into the courthouse lit up by flashbulb bursts.

The crowd of hundreds outside the courthouse let out a cheer as word emerged that Sandusky was guilty.

After the verdict, Attorney General Linda Kelly said the jury believed that Sandusky "calculatingly and with meticulous planning mercilessly preyed" upon his victims.

"Who would believe a kid? The jury here in Bellefonte, Pa., would and did believe a kid," she said, referring to testimony by Sandusky's victims. "I hope this outcome allows the victims to heal and encourages other victims to come forward."

Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, said the defense plans to appeal the guilty verdicts, arguing it was not prepared to go to trial as soon as the judge ordered.

"The Sandusky family is very disappointed, obviously, by the verdict of the jury but we respect their verdict," he said. "We had a tidal wave of public opinion against Jerry Sandusky."

He added that Sandusky fully planned to testify in his own defense, but the plan to have him do so was scuttled when the prosecution threatened to have Matt Sandusky, his adopted son, testify as a rebuttal witness that he was molested by his father.

After the verdict, the family of the late Joe Paterno, the legendary Penn State head coach who was Sandusky's boss, released a statement.

"Although we understand the task of healing is just beginning, today's verdict is an important milestone," it read. "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."