Friday, June 22, 2012

Sandusky guilty on a majority of counts

Bellefonte, PA - Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was found guilty Friday night on 45 of the 48 counts charging him with sexual abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year period.

The verdict was reached at the end of the second day of jury deliberations and came more than seven months after Sandusky was first arrested in the case that rocked Penn State and cast a pall over the area linked so firmly to the university.

Applause was heard outside the courtroom as word spread of the verdict after court was adjourned shortly after 10 p.m. (et) local time.

Sandusky denied the charges that he systematically groomed victims through his Second Mile charity.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly called Sandusky "a serial child predator" who "has been held accountable for his crimes" while defense attorney Joe Amendola said the verdict didn't prove his client was sick or guilty, saying there were a lot of innocent people in jail around the country.

Bail has been revoked and the 68-year-old has been remanded into custody at the Centre County Sheriff's Office.

Late on Friday, the university issued a statement regarding the verdict.

"Today Penn State learned that a verdict was reached in the case of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Gerald Sandusky. Mr. Sandusky was found guilty of 45 of the 48 charges filed against him.

The legal process has spoken and 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 Board of Trustees and current administration maintain a steadfast commitment to pursuing the truth regarding Mr. Sandusky’s actions. While we cannot change what happened, we can and do accept the responsibility to take action on the societal issue of child sexual abuse—both in our community and beyond.

The University is committed to ensuring that our campuses are safe for children and to being a constructive participant in building greater awareness of child sexual abuse and the practical steps that can be undertaken to prevent, report and respond to such abuse.

The University has already established a confidential counseling process for victims of Mr. Sandusky’s conduct, and that process remains open. While counseling is critical, some victims have sought and continue to seek a direct dialogue with the University to discuss the University's responsibility for Mr. Sandusky's actions

Now that the jury has spoken, the University wants to continue that dialogue and do its part to help victims continue their path forward. To that end, the University plans to invite victims of Mr. Sandusky’s abuse to participate in a program to facilitate the resolution of claims against the University arising out of Mr. Sandusky's conduct.

The purpose of the program is simple – the University wants to provide a forum where the University can privately, expeditiously and fairly address the victims' concerns and compensate them for claims relating to the University. Counsel to the University plan to reach out to counsel to the victims of Mr. Sandusky’s abuse in the near future with additional details."
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