US & Canada

US coach Jerry Sandusky guilty of Penn State sex abuse

Former US college football coach Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty of 45 out of 48 counts of child sex abuse.

Sandusky, 68, denied 48 counts of abusing 10 boys over 15 years. He is expected to appeal but could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The jury reached its verdict at the end of its second day of deliberations.

His arrest in November caused a scandal at Penn State University, Pennsylvania, that saw the president and legendary football coach Joe Paterno both fired.

The jury found the former coach not guilty of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with Victim 2 and indecent assault of Victims 5 and 6.

After the verdict, Sandusky's bail was revoked and he was taken into custody in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

'Horrific acts'

After the verdict, defence lawyer Joe Amendola told reporters the family was "very disappointed" with the verdict, although it was "expected".

He suggested that Sandusky would appeal against the verdict and acknowledged that his client would be likely to face a life sentence.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly called Sandusky a "serial predator" who committed "horrific acts".

Ms Kelly said that she hoped the verdict "allows these victims to heal" and would also encourage other victims to come forward.

Meanwhile, Penn State said in a statement: "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."

The BBC's Kate Dailey, who was in the courtroom in Bellefonte, said Sandusky gave a small wave to his family as he was led away.

Outside the courthouse a large crowd cheered as news of the verdict emerged, our correspondent adds.

The decision, delivered by a jury of seven women and five men, came after about 21 hours of deliberations over two days.

Unfolding accusations

Sandusky, who did not testify, was accused of abusing boys he met through Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youth.

He allegedly abused them at his home, in hotels and the athletic facilities of Penn State.

Eight men aged between 18 and 28 testified during the nearly two-week trial, providing graphic details of the alleged abuse.

One witness told the court how he hid and then threw away underwear after Sandusky allegedly forced him to have anal sex, making him bleed.

In cross-examination during the trial, defence lawyer Joe Amendola pressed the accusers for further details of their allegations, as well as contacts they had with Sandusky since the alleged abuse.

At least six accusers said they told incorrect or incomplete stories in early contacts with police, while three told the court that some details only came back to them in recent years.

A former graduate assistant and key prosecution witness, Mike McQueary, told the jury he saw Sandusky standing naked behind a boy in a Penn State shower, slowly moving his hips.

Meanwhile, Sandusky's wife, Dottie, also took the stand and told the court about her husband's charitable work with children. The defence called 28 witnesses, many of whom spoke about the coach's high standing in the community.

Sandusky's arrest in November led to the firing of several Penn State officials amid accusations that the university had failed to act on reports of suspected abuse.

Two Penn State administrators are awaiting trial for failing to report the suspected abuse and lying to the grand jury.

Penn State boasts one of the proudest football traditions in the country.

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