US coach Jerry Sandusky guilty of Penn State sex abuse

How the Jerry Sandusky scandal rocked US sport and left parents concerned for their children

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After the verdict, Sandusky's bail was revoked and he was taken into custody in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

At the scene

As the courtroom grew more crowded on Friday night in anticipation of a possible verdict, one bench in the centre of the gallery stayed open - vigilantly guarded by a broad-shouldered plainclothes policeman. That bench, it became clear, was reserved for one of the victims who had testified against Sandusky.

Shortly before the judge took his seat at the head of the court, a young man in a striped polo shirt filed into the courtroom, surrounded by female family members. They sat quietly in their appointed bench while the judge dispensed with the pre-verdict formalities.

When the jury foreman said "guilty" on the first count, the woman to the right of the victim wept on his shoulder. But by count five, her head was once again straight, the entire group sitting stoically.

After court was adjourned, journalists raced out of the room to file the story, and lawyers and supporters of the case milled about, discussing the verdict. But the victim and his family stayed seated, arms around one another, heads bowed.

'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.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said she hoped the ''search for justice'' would help other victims

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.

Timeline: Sandusky case

1969: Jerry Sandusky takes up role as defensive line coach at Penn State

1977: Founds charity Second Mile aimed at helping boys with troubled family lives

1994-7: Meets Victims 4, 5, 6, and 7 through Second Mile.

1999: Retires from Penn State

2002: Graduate assistant sees Jerry Sandusky naked in the Penn State showers with Victim 2. He reports the incident to Joe Paterno, who informs the university's athletic director

2005-6: Victim 1 says he meets Jerry Sandusky through Second Mile

Nov 2011: Jerry Sandusky is arrested; Coach Joe Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier fired

Jan 2012: Joe Paterno dies after struggle with lung cancer

June 2012: Sandusky convicted on 45 of 48 charges

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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