Jury reaches verdict in Sandusky trial

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 16, 2012 3:07 PM

By Ian Simpson

BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Jurors in the child sex abuse trial of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky have reached a verdict after two days of deliberations, a court official said Friday.

The jury, which began deliberations on Thursday afternoon, will report its verdict to the court imminently. No communication from the courtroom will be allowed until all 48 counts are read and the trial is adjourned, according to rules set by Judge John Cleland.

Sandusky was seen arriving at the court on live TV shortly after the court's announcement. A large crowd was gathered outside the Centre County Courthouse in rural central Pennsylvania.

Sandusky, 68, is accused of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period in a case that stunned the university, refocused attention on the issue of child sexual abuse in the United States and led to the firing of Penn State President Graham Spanier and legendary head football coach Joe Paterno.

He faces about 500 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Eight accusers, now aged 18 to 28, testified last week. They described in often graphic detail about meeting Sandusky as boys through his charity, the Second Mile, and then being abused. Some accusers said they were forced to have oral and anal sex with the coach.

Sandusky attorney Joe Amendola said in closing arguments that Sandusky - famed as the defensive mastermind at a program nicknamed Linebacker U - had been ruined by false allegations made by accusers hoping for a big payday in civil lawsuits.

He said those accusing his client had been coached by investigators and pressured by overzealous prosecutors.

(Editing by Jim Loney and Stacey Joyce)