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Verdict

Sandusky Guilty

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It took 21 hours for a jury to find the ex-Penn State coach guilty on almost all of the state's charges. Diane Dimond reports from the courtroom on the wild reaction—and what’s next for Jerry.

Jerry Sandusky was alert but ashen as he stood at the defense table to hear his fate. His wife and several family members sat in the row directly behind him. As verdicts were read aloud on all 48 of the counts of deviant sexual abuse of young boys, Sandusky began to sway on his feet, his hands plunged into his pants pockets. Guilty, guilty, guilty. The word reverberated throughout the stock-still courtroom. Sandusky kept his gaze locked down on the verdict sheet held by the defense attorney on his left.

VERDICT

Jerry Sandusky Found Guilty

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

On 45 out of 48 sex abuse charges.

After 21 hours of deliberation, a Pennsylvania jury has found Jerry Sandusky guilty on 45 out of 48 charges related to child sexual abuse. The former Penn State University assistant football coach was convicted of sexually abusing nine boys (he'd been accused of abusing 10) over a 15-year period. Sandusky had pleaded not guilty to all 48 charges. He and his lawyer, Joe Amendola, unsuccessfully attempted to convince the jury of insufficient evidence, a conspiracy created by the alleged victims for profit, and biased media coverage of the case. Sandusky's adopted son, Matt, shocked the court Thursday evening when he said, through his attorney, that he, too, had been sexually abused by his father and would be willing to testify against him. NBC News reports that Sandusky will get at least 60 years in prison.

Read it at The Daily Beast

JUDGMENT DAY

Sandusky Jury Reaches Verdict

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Less than two days of deliberation.

Less than two days after deliberations began, the jury in the Jerry Sandusky trial has reached a verdict. It's expected to be read late Friday night, though press personnel in court are restricted from sharing the decision until court is officially adjourned. Sandusky, a former coach at Penn State, faces 48 charges relating to sexual assault against minors. In an unguarded moment on Friday, Sandusky's own attorney acknowledged the long odds of an acquittal: Joe Amendola said he’d be shocked that he’d “die of a heart attack” if his client were to beat all of the charges. 

Read it at ABC News

Shocking Accusation

Did He Molest His Son?

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Just as Jerry Sandusky began waiting for a jury verdict on 48 charges related to sexual abuse, his own adopted son joined the list of accusers. Diane Dimond on Matt's troubled youth.

The news hit like a bomb here in Centre County, Pennsylvania: Matt Sandusky, the 33-year-old adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State coach whose current trial has turned him into the most notorious child sex-crimes defendant of the moment, said that his father had molested him.He told the world his secret via a short statement from a pair of Pennsylvania victims’ rights lawyers and then asked the media to back off and respect his need for privacy.

Trial

Sandusky Deliberations Enter Day 2

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Sequestered in local hotel overnight.

Jurors continue deliberations Friday in the sex-abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in Bellefonte, Pa. Prosecutors and defense lawyers made their final appeals Thursday to the panel of seven women and five men, and the jury later deliberated for more than seven hours before being sequestered in a local hotel overnight. Before closing arguments began, Judge John Cleland dismissed three of the 51 charges against Sandusky, involving 10 alleged victims.

Read it at The Daily Beast

Day Eight

Sandusky Son's Bombshell

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer made his final plea in court today, shouting that sex-abuse charges just didn’t add up. Now the coach’s fate in the jury’s hands. Diane Dimond reports.

The prosecutor crossed the courtroom, stood behind Jerry Sandusky, and said of the 10 alleged sexual-abuse victims, “Their childhoods have been incinerated by this serial pedophile.”A bewildered-looking Sandusky turned awkwardly in his chair and looked up at Joe McGettigan, whose gaze stayed locked on the jury.“He knows he did it, you know he did it. Find him guilty of everything!” At that, McGettigan quickly took his seat, and the jury began deliberations at 1:12 p.

Day Seven

Sandusky’s Last Mile

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

In an abrupt end, the defense rested today without putting the former coach on the stand. Diane Dimond on the trial’s last evidence, which sought to cast doubt on the young accusers.

At precisely 11:45 a.m., Jerry Sandusky's defense attorney stood and said, "Your honor, at this time the defense rests."The court seemed shocked. There would be no testimony from Sandusky—charged with 51 sex-crime charges against children—and, more surprising, there would be no rebuttal case from the prosecution.Before its dramatic conclusion, the day took a slow pace—a stark departure from the defense’s rapid-fire presentation yesterday, which saw a total of 21 witnesses take the stand.

PENN STATE

Sandusky Defense Rests Case

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Former football coach could testify tomorrow.

Jerry Sandusky’s defense team wrapped up their case Wednesday after a short session on day seven of the former Penn State football coach’s sex-abuse trial. Following Dottie Sandusky’s testimony yesterday in which she said one of the alleged victims was “demanding and conniving,” two other Second Mile participants took the stand on Wednesday and said they spent many nights with the coach and were never assaulted. Closing arguments will be presented tomorrow and Sandusky could be forced to testify, though his lawyers have repeatedly said they won’t allow it.

Read it at The Daily Beast

Day Six

Dottie Defends Her Man

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

In riveting testimony, Jerry Sandusky’s wife refuted his accusers' claims of abuse, winking at her husband from the stand. Diane Dimond reports. Plus, the prosecution's next bombshell.

The defense came on like gangbusters on this sixth day of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse trial. From character witnesses and cops to dueling doctors and the much-anticipated testimony of the ex-coach’s wife, Dottie, the jury barely had a moment to catch its breath as they heard testimony from an astounding 21 witnesses.The possibility that a Sandusky might take the stand has consumed much of the courtroom chatter over the last week—and today it became a reality.

PENN STATE

Dottie Sandusky Ridicules Victim

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

Calling one "demanding and conniving" on stand.

Talk about defending your man! Dottie Sandusky took the stand as a witness for the defense in Jerry Sandusky’s sex-abuse trial Tuesday. She testified that she never saw inappropriate conduct between her husband and his alleged victims, but also admitted she couldn’t think of a reason why the alleged victims would lie about the abuse. Sandusky's wife described alleged Victim 1 as “demanding and conniving” and described another alleged victim as “very clingy.” She also described an incident where she witnessed her husband reprimanding a young player for failing to attend a luncheon. “He was yelling. I know Jerry was mad the way he looked,” she said. The 68-year-old former Penn State assistant football coach is charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year period.

Read it at The Daily Beast

Day Five

Sandusky Defense Flails

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photos

On their first day of arguments, the ex-coach’s lawyers put on a lackluster show. Diane Dimond on why Dottie won't take the stand—and her surprise run-in with Sandusky himself.

In his opening statement last week, Jerry Sandusky’s defense attorney, Joe Amendola, told the jury, "I've never seen a case like this in my life. We could just pack it in now and say, 'Gee whiz, we don't have a chance!'" In a more serious tone, he added, "This is like David and Goliath."After this first day of the defense’s case, many in the room shared the opinion that that it had been a lackluster performance.

HAIL MARY

Sandusky’s Risky Defense

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Lawyers for the ex-coach may call a psychologist to testify that their client has a personality disorder. Diane Dimond on why the move could backfire. Plus, will Dottie take the stand?

Defending Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State coach accused of 52 counts of sexual abuse against young boys, can’t be an easy job. So it’s no surprise that his lawyers have come up with a strategy that’s already being mocked by opposing counsel. Is Sandusky a pedophile—or an undiagnosed victim of histrionic personality disorder?In one of several handwritten letters from Sandusky to one of the young men now accusing him of sexual abuse—missives the witness described to the jury as “creepy love letters”—the former Penn State defensive coordinator wrote, “I have many Forrest Gump qualities.

Day Four

‘Was Mrs. Sandusky Home?’

Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

In the trial’s most chilling testimony yet, a young accuser said he screamed for help in the basement of ex-Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky—but no one answered. Diane Dimond reports.

After four days of intensely disturbing testimony, including unforgettable stories from eight accusers, the prosecution in the sex-abuse trial of Jerry Sandusky is poised to rest. But it will be the voice of the last alleged victim to testify—whose account has been by far the most chilling—that will likely ring in each juror’s ears as the panel leaves for a three-day weekend.He is an 18-year-old young man who looks years younger, his appearance marred by a flesh-colored eye patch on his right eye.

Day Three

Sandusky Gets Steamrolled

Gene J. Puskar / AP Photo

In a packed day at court, three accusers took the stand and alleged a disturbing pattern of abuse. Plus, the jury heard damning words from the ex-coach himself. Diane Dimond reports.

The trio of young men who testified against Jerry Sandusky on the third day of his sexual-abuse trial couldn't have been more different in personality and temperament. Yet each of their testimonies was sexually graphic and disturbing—and midway through the prosecution’s fast-tracked arguments, a clear pattern has emerged in their allegations.Accuser No. 3, a stocky brunette with what appeared to be a permanently knitted brow, said he first met Sandusky in 1999.

Day Two

McQueary Tells His Story

Pat Little / Reuters-Landov

On Day 2 of the the sexual-abuse trial against the ex-Penn State coach, an 18-year-old alleged victim riveted the jury as he sobbed on the stand. Diane Dimond reports.

He is 18 years old. He graduated from high school last Thursday, and he suffers anxiety attacks. His testimony was unforgettable. When the witness stepped into the courtroom today, the second day of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse trial, observers knew immediately he was an emotionally wrought teen. He is short in stature, with the slim build of a track athlete. He walks with stiff, rounded shoulders and talks with his chin down, eyes looking up warily through his lashes.

Private

Penn State's Secretive Culture

We Are All Penn State

We Are All Penn State

It wasn't just university leadership that enabled Jerry Sandusky. It was a system that discourages rocking the boat at all costs.

Shrouded

Penn State's Veil of Secrecy

Shellshocked

Penn State Begins Soul-Searching

Ousted

Penn State’s New Whistleblower

Entitled

Why Penn State Is So Powerful

Sandusky: The Lawyers Speak

After Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse, both his lawyer and the prosecutor who put him away spoke about the case.

Full Coverage

Dispatches from the Sandusky Trial

Sandusky Guilty

Sandusky Guilty

It took 21 hours for a jury to find the ex-Penn State coach guilty on 45 of 48 charges.

Day Eight

Sandusky Son's Bombshell

Day Seven

Sandusky’s Last Mile

Day Six

Dottie Defends Her Man

Day Five

Sandusky Defense Flails

Day Four

‘Was Mrs. Sandusky Home?’

Day Three

Sandusky Gets Steamrolled

Jerry Sandusky Speaks Out

Jerry Sandusky spoke to the New York Times at length this weekend and he proved once again that his lawyer is delusional for letting his client anywhere near a video camera.

Tainted

A Coach's Legacy

Paterno’s Lying Ways

Paterno’s Lying Ways

Emails from the Penn State probe show JoePa helped decide not to report Jerry Sandusky to authorities—and why ‘liar’ should be added to his legacy, says Buzz Bissinger.

Dottie Sandusky

What Did She Know?

My Husband the Pedophile

My Husband the Pedophile

Darlene Ellison, the ex-wife of a convicted sex offender, reveals how Dorothy Sandusky may have been kept in the dark.

Marriage

The Wives of Sex Offenders: Was Dottie Sandusky Complicit?

Shocking Accusation

Did He Molest His Son?

Science

Current Research

What Makes a Pedophile?

What Makes a Pedophile?

As pedophilia cases rivet the nation, psychiatrists uncover new details about the mental illness, Casey Schwartz reports.