Jerry Sandusky Is Found Guilty Of Child Molestation Charges

A Bittersweet Victory

Many are celebrating the guilty verdict of former Penn State football coach, Jerry Sandusky. Last night, a jury convicted the once-beloved sports figure on 45 out of 48 counts of child molestation. We have a full report on the conviction from the Huffington Post inside.

“Jerry Sandusky Guilty: Verdict Reached In Child Molestation Trial Of Former Penn State Football Coach”

Following two days of jury deliberations, Sandusky was found guilty Friday of molesting several young boys.

The 68-year-old could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Sandusky was convicted of 45 of 48 criminal counts related to the alleged assault of 10 boys over a 15-year period. The allegations led to the ouster of the late Penn State University president and long-time coach Joe Paterno, who died in January.

Prosecutors said Sandusky was a “predatory pedophile” and a “sick, disturbed man,” who targeted “the most vulnerable kids, kids in need.”

Defense lawyer Joe Amendola said Sandusky was the victim of a grand conspiracy and that prosecutors provided no physical evidence to prove he had molested anyone. Because of the allegations, “everything [Jerry Sandusky] ever loved, everything he’s ever built, and everything he’s ever stood for — it’s gone,” Amendola said.
Sandusky did not testify on his own behalf, but his wife, Dottie Sandusky, did take the stand. She said she never witnessed any inappropriate contact between her husband and the young boys.

The case has attracted widespread media coverage, as Sandusky was one of the most notable assistant football coaches in the country and the founder of The Second Mile, a nonprofit charity for underprivileged and at-risk youth.

People reacted with unrestrained joy when word of the verdict reached the crowd outside the courthouse. Some were chanting “Justice,” while others sat on the sidewalk in lawn chairs to enjoy the spectacle.

“Our grandson was best friends with Victim No. 1,” Bill Andrus told The Huffinton Post. “They were on the junior high wrestling team together. So knowing Victim No. 1, we had a personal interest and were hopeful it would come out this way.”

Kelly Houp, who lives in Bellefonte, had harsh words for the Sandusky family.

“I knew he was guilty,” she said. “All those kids would not lie. Everyone knew he did it. Dottie knew too and she should be hung.”

Crime expert Scott A. Bonn, an assistant professor of sociology at Drew University, called the decision “a certainty.”

“This case shocked the nation, violated our collective sense of morality and demonstrated that our children may not be safe from sexual predators after all,” Bonn said. “The jury had a moral obligation to society to convict Sandusky, and the only verdict that could restore public trust and equilibrium is guilty. I would have been shocked by any other verdict.”

Sentencing is expected to take place within 90 days.

Read updates on the trial here.

Courtroom sketch of Sandusky
I’d be interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts on the verdict. As for me, it’s hard to be in a celebratory mood over this. The whole story still makes me sick to my stomach and I’d stopped following it a while back. In fact, I stopped following right after Sandusky first called in to a major news channel to proclaim his innocence (against his lawyer’s wishes). His ‘explanations’ were horrifying. Listening to him casually talk about horsing around in the shower with one of the boys– that was about it for me. I understand that this is– in many ways– a victory, but I am still confused about a lot of things.

Many people (like me) are still wondering how something like this could have gone on for so long without anyone– any adults– coming forward. Did Sandusky‘s celebrity-esque status at Penn State have something (or everything) to do with this case and the belated accusations that started the process?

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  1. ClaireMichelle

    I definitely do not feel like celebrating because this is just a horrible situation all around. I am very relieved though. I think one hugely troubling part about all of this even after his sentencing is his wife’s role. She is either in serious denial or she has been helping him all of these years. For stuff to be going on in your own house and not say ANYTHING… I can’t comprehend that. And she is still standing by him and acting like she can’t believe this sentencing. Her role in this just blows my mind, no matter if she knew or if she was in denial.

    • lori

      i agree. ‘best case scenario” (if there is one) would be for him to admit his abuse and release his family (wife and children) from their denial. Dottie continuing on as she did on the witness stand (‘they were all problem children, and he did nothing but try to help them’) is more hurtful to the victims than anything else right now. it proves to those victims and more out there, people wont believe you because you are a powerless child or have a behavioral problem. if she opened her heart she could actually give those boys/men the apology they deserve. i know, it wont happen. she will just continue to hunker down in what she sees as a war against her. she will concentrate on the appeal. on the civil suits. on bashing her adoptive son. maybe god will wake her up on judgement day.

    • lori, you bring up a good point. And it’s sad that, in many cases like this, the truth is never confessed which (I imagine) would make a difference to those who suffered.

    • ClaireMichelle, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I’m not a wife and I don’t know exactly what a wife is supposed to do in situations like this (because I do believe, in a way, in a certain unwavering allegiance to a husband), but I’m disturbed by the idea of ANYONE knowing ANYTHING and remaining silent.

  2. Anna

    My heart is heavy. This narcissistic asshole forever changed the lives of these innocent and vulnerable children–even his own sons! Who knows how many more there were that couldn’t step forward. As a survivor of abuse myself, I feel so strongly about this. I never got justice but I hope his victims can breathe a little easier today knowing Sandusky will never see the light of day again.
    I agree about his wife. She needs to be charged as a co-conspirator or something. This went on in HER HOUSE! He would “go tell the kids goodnight”?!? Seriously? She knew. She *had* to know.

    • Anna, thank you for commenting on this piece. Justice is a complicated notion, right? I guess I feel like nothing can really do these children (and the others) justice, but yes this is the beginning of some kind of peace, I hope. And maybe a bit of peace for others as well.

    • Anna

      Honestly, the only thing we can do as citizens is to be watchful over kids around us and take note of any behavioral changes, anger issues, etc. I know after my abuse started I changed, drastically. I became quiet, scared, and isolated, whereas before I was outgoing and a generally happy kid. People noticed but no one said anything (they told me after I disclosed to them about a decade later). Had someone stepped up and gone to bat for me at the time, who knows what could have happened. It could potentially have saved me years of heartache.
      We, as adults, must advocate for kids. We have the power to help or destroy. In Sandusky’s case, he destroyed. May his victims reach some sort of peace now.

  3. This is such a difficult situation… I can’t help but feel cheerfulness and disgust. When I saw the headline, I was ecstatic. Finally! He is getting what he deserves, but then I got disgusted by all the lives he’s ruined, some beyond repair. As a PSU alumni and employee, this has really rocked us to our core. I’ll admit I was in denial when the cover up was first revealed because the university has really been good to me. Idk. I just hope that the victims and their families can find some closure and I hope that the university can move past this (which will probably be a while since Curley & Schultz trials are coming up). I can’t even put into words my thoughts about Dottie. There is a long road ahead with lot of healing to be done, but this is definitely a start.

    • blaqfury, thank you for commenting. It’s good to hear from someone who’s a member of the PSU community on this. And I think you’re right– there is a lifetime of healing ahead, surely, for those involved but at least a conviction was made.

  4. Brittany

    I’m a current PSU graduate student. In fact, I grew up in State College. This has been the absolute craziest year. When everything started going down in November, I just remember going…is this a practical joke or something? So many people dropped the ball, and although many are celebrating, it’s certainly more relief. It’s not the end of all of this, but we are all just so happy that the jury had enough sense to find him guilty. We all were were waiting with bated breath till the verdict came out yesterday. I know I was checking the news what seemed to be at least once every hour. This year has been tragic, but out of everything that’s happened, at least something good has come out of it…some justice. It would have been nice for him to admit that he did it. I hope Curley and Schultz admit that they were wrong. I really think that they were to blame for the coverup. It was horrible. When it comes to Dottie..I don’t know. You would think that she would know that her husband did that stuff, but then all of the victims said that she didn’t, so maybe she honestly had no idea. Some people are successful leading double lives. Who knows. But thank you for keeping the world updated on your site as well. This town can hopefully start to heal.

  5. Rebecca

    The only winners in this tragedy are the future victims that have now been spared. A predator like Sandusky never stops unless he is removed from society. It still feels like too little, too late, though. Terrible for all involved.

  6. Ben@pr

    I celebrate that this piece of trash will pay for his atrocities. On the other side it’s really sad what his victims suffered and him being in jail will not undone the damage. I’m sure his wife had to have being suspicious. One of their own kids was his victim. Parents and people in general need to understand that pedophiles always make sure to be surrounded by kids and many times they choose careers that makes it easy. Kids under any circumstances should be allowed to be unsupervised while in company of other adults. They should never be left alone with another adult. I’m always suspicious of grown ass adults that like to be surrounded by kids. Just because someone is a respected and successful professional doesn’t mean he isn’t a pedophile.

    • rOXy

      I cannot feel happy, only glad that justice has been served and this predatory monster will not be able to harm anyone else. I imagine the inmates are going to give back to him everything he dished out, and then some. Even though I am glad the justice system worked in this case, I am always sorry to see people get what’s coming to them. A compassionate heart has to feel that way. I think awareness and caution will go a long way to spot predatory behavior, but I might warn against becoming suspicious of everyone who likes to be around children. Too many children need someone who cares because they don’t have someone who cares at home. If everyone retreats from the professions that are kid-centric, (teachers, coaches, therapists, pediatricians, etc), out of fear of being labeled a pedophile, them who is going to be there when children are in need? We need to make children feel safe enough so they know they can tell someone when an adult has crossed the line.

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