Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 counts

(RNN) - Ex Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky left the courthouse in handcuffs late Friday after a jury found him guilty on 45 of 48 counts against him in a child sex abuse scandal that shocked the nation.

The jury began deliberations Thursday, June 21 after each side gave its closing arguments.

The prosecution attempted to paint Sandusky as a predator who earned the trust of his alleged victims before taking advantage of them.

"What you should do is come out and say to the defendant that he molested and abused and give them back their souls," Senior Deputy Attorney General Joe McGettigan III said to the jury during closing arguments Thursday. "I give them to you. Acknowledge and give them justice."

Sandusky, 67, was charged with 48 counts of child sex abuse involving 10 boys. The charges are:

  • Involuntary sexual intercourse (nine counts)
  • Corruption of a minor (10 counts)
  • Endangering a child's welfare (10 counts)
  • Unlawful contact with a minor (nine counts)
  • Indecent assault (nine counts)
  • Attempted indecent assault (one count)

The number of charges originally stood at 52, but Judge John Cleland ordered Thursday that all three charges related to "alleged victim 4" be dropped. Cleland explained that one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse duplicated another charge, and the testimony did not support the other charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault.

Prosecutors dropped the fourth charge - unlawful contact with a minor - earlier this week because the statute on which that charge was based wasn't in effect on the date of the alleged incident.

The accusers reportedly met the former Penn State football coach through his charity, The Second Mile. Sandusky established The Second Mile as a foundation that helped children from troubled or single-parent families.

The abuse allegedly occurred at university facilities, Sandusky's home and during trips to the team's road games in a 15-year span, dating back to 1994.

Sandusky's adopted son, Matt Sandusky, has said he was also a victim.

Andrew Shubin, Matt Sandusky's lawyer, confirmed that his client met with prosecutors earlier this week, according to a report by The Patriot-News.

"This has been an extremely painful experience for Matt and he has asked us to convey his request that the media respect his privacy. There will be no further comment," Shubin said in a statement.

The younger Sandusky, one of six adopted children, had been an ardent supporter of his father before coming forward with the allegations. He sat with the family in the courtroom while his father was on trial and reportedly visited with Jerry Sandusky at his home.

In an interview last November with NBC's Bob Costas, Sandusky claimed he never had "inappropriate sexual contact" with young boys but acknowledged he had showered with them and engaged in other horseplay.

When Costas asked him if he was sexually attracted to young boys, Sandusky replied, "Sexually attracted? You know, I enjoy young people, I love to be around them, I – but no, I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."

As Penn State's defensive coordinator, Sandusky had been seen as the heir-apparent to legendary head football coach Joe Paterno. But he retired in 1999, although he retained an "emeritus" title that allowed him access to football facilities.

In 1998, Penn State police officer Ronald Schreffler got a report from the mother of "Victim 6" after the 11-year-old boy told her he showered with Sandusky. Schreffler claimed he investigated and wanted to make an arrest, but the district attorney did not pursue charges.

During testimony, Schreffler said he listened in on multiple conversations between the mother and Sandusky. He said Sandusky admitted showering with Victim 6 and at least one other boy.

Schreffler also said Sandusky told the mother, "I wish I could ask for forgiveness. I know I will not get it from you. I wish I were dead."

Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary became a key witness for the prosecution after he claimed to see Sandusky with a 10- or 12-year-old boy in 2002. McQueary, then a graduate assistant, said he saw Sandusky in what he believed to be a sexual act with the boy in a locker room shower at the university.

McQueary said he told Paterno about what he saw the next morning. Paterno said he then spoke with athletic director Tim Curley and a school vice president, Gary Schultz.

No one from the school reported the incident to police or child protection agencies. Two weeks after the incident, Curley told McQueary that Sandusky's keys to the locker room had been taken away and they had informed Second Mile representatives, according to McQueary.

Curley and Schultz left the university after the allegations against Sandusky went public in November, and they were also charged with failing to contact the authorities. The Penn State Board of Trustees fired Paterno Nov. 9, as well as school president Graham Spanier.

Paterno admitted he "should have done more" after learning of the 2002 incident. He died Jan. 22 after a battle with lung cancer.

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