Assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty of 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse of 10 under-aged boys over a 15 year period.
According to NBC-TV News, Sandusky showed no emotion as the 45 guilty verdicts were read in open court. After the reading of the verdicts, Sandusky's attorneys immediately moved the court to allow him to remain on house arrest until his sentencing. Prosecutors objected and counter-moved the court to immediately remand Sandusky to jail pending sentencing. The judge ordered revocation of Sandusky's bail and ordered him to jail. Sentencing is expected in about three months. Sandusky faces a total of 442 years in prison.
As police led a handcuffed (at the front) Sandusky from the courtroom to a waiting police vehicle, hundreds of onlookers and passersby shouted epithets and jeered him mercilessly. “Rot in hell!” was clearly heard, among many other less printable words of advice, opinions, and admonitions. Although he was the picture of calm determination in the courtroom, during this “perp walk” from the courhouse to the car, the gravity of what had just happened to him seemed to fall on both his physical and mental beings in one fell swoop. With one policeman on each elbow, Sandusky appeared dazed, bewildered, and unbelieving. It would not be pushing it to say that a kind of discernible sense of "shock" was settling over him. Yet, he had to know, or his attorneys had to have advised him, that he probably would be convicted of at least some of the original 50-plus counts alleged against him.
One of his attorneys, in an after-verdict press conference, indicated that the jury's decision will definitely and vigorously be appealed. The primary grounds for appeal will be that Sandusky had no real chance for an honest and fair trial from the first moment the allegations of abuse became public. And, after the actual charges were lodged against Sandusky, saturating, suffocating pre-trial publicity in all conceivable media formats had condemned his client, he said. By the time Sandusky walked into court for his first hearing, the jury pool had already been seriously poisoned. His attorney further likened receiving a fair trial, let alone winning an acquittal, under these conditions, in this case to the pushing of a heavy boulder up Mount Everest from the very bottom of that august mountain.
For its part, an attorney for the prosecution said that, yes, it is true that there was little or no physical evidence against Jerry Sandusky. From beginning to end, this was a circumstantial case almost entirely based on the testimony of 10 young men who claimed to have been constantly, regularly, systematically sexually abused by Sandusky as children. She further stated that although there were inconsistencies and contradictions among their extremely graphic and horrific stories, the jury apparently decided that these young men could not all be lying or imagining these things.
As a convicted child molester (“cho-mo” in prison slang), Sandusky will find himself at the bottom of the prisoner social order. Sex offenders, generally, in prisons around the country are considered the lowest in the prison pecking order; and child sex offenders are the lowest of the low.
Given the high profile of his case and Sandusky's former high status in the community, he must now face a real and ever-present threat to his personal safety and well being in prison beyond any “normal” safety concerns one might expect. Indeed, he may expect that some prisoners will seek to make a name for themselves by targeting him, assaulting him, or worse, using his personal suffering as both a "badge of honor" and a means of moving up the prisoner "food chain" and social ladder.
Whether he is killed in prison or not, at 68 years old, any prison sentence is likely a death sentence for Jerry Sandusky. He will almost certainly never experience another “free” day again.
The Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Sun-Times