BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — The credibility of the accusers who testified at the trial of Jerry Sandusky solidified the case against him, a juror said Saturday, a day after the retired Penn State coach once viewed as the successor to Joe Paterno was found guilty on 45 counts of child sex abuse.
“It’s hard to judge character on the stand because you don’t know these kids,” Joshua Harper told NBC’s “Today.” ”But most were very credible — I would say all.”
“It was very convincing,” he added.
After a swift trial and less than two days of deliberations, Sandusky was found guilty Friday. Mandatory minimums mean he will likely die in prison.
Sanduksy’s own impassivity as the verdict was read was also a confirmation that the jury’s decision was the right one, Harper said.
“I looked at him during the reading of the verdict and just the look on his face. No real emotion,” he said.
The verdict is not the end of the scandal that took down Paterno and deeply shook the state’s most prominent university. It will play out for years in courtrooms and through a set of ongoing investigations.
But the trial did present one piece of finality: Sandusky was taken away in handcuffs to the county jail. Sentencing will be in about three months.
“One of the recurring themes in this case was, ‘Who would believe a kid?’” Attorney General Linda Kelly said. “The answer is, we in Bellefonte, Pa., would believe a kid.”
There were only three acquittals among the charges related to 10 victims, eight of whom took the stand to describe fondling, forced oral sex and anal rape. Many of the accusers testified that they had told no one of the abuse that dated as far back as the mid-1990s — not parents, not girlfriends and not police.
The accuser known in court papers as Victim 6, whose mother alerted authorities in 1998 after Sandusky took her son into a shower, broke down in tears upon hearing the verdicts in the courtroom. Afterward, a prosecutor embraced him and said, “Did I ever lie to you?”
The man, now 25, testified that Sandusky called himself the “tickle monster” in a shower assault. He declined to comment to a reporter afterward. His mother said: “Nobody wins. We’ve all lost.”
One of the three counts for which Sandusky was acquitted concerned Victim 6, an indecent assault charge. The man testified that Sandusky had given him a bear hug in the shower but at one point he just “blacked out.”