Former American Football Coach Sandusky convicted of 45 accounts of serial paedophilia
Former American Football Coach Jerry Sandusky is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of 45 counts of serial paedophilia at a trial in the US.
Sandusky’s trial has been big news in America ever since the public revelations of his sexual abuse of children at Penn State University, where he served as an assistant coach to the well known football coach Joe ‘Joe Pa’ Paterno.
Sandusky was found guilty of 45 out of 48 counts of sexual abuse in relation to offences committed on ten underage boys over a 15-year period.
After deliberating for two days, the jury delivered the guilty verdict at a court in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania yesterday and sentencing for the 68-year old will take place in approximately three months time.
Sandusky had denied the allegations, which have been the focus of much attention stateside and have done considerable harm to the reputation of Penn State and to Paterno, who was fired last November after failing to notify authorities that he had been made aware of Sandusky’s actions. Paterno died of lung cancer aged 85 in January.
The Penn State University authorities released a statement after the verdict which read: “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 family of Joe Paterno also released a statement which read: “Although we understand the task of healing is just beginning, today’s verdict is an important milestone. The community owes a measure of gratitude to the jurors for their diligent service. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and their families.”