On Friday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly told the media, “One of the recurring themes of the victims’ (of Sandusky’s sexual abuses) testimony was ‘Who would believe a kid?’ And the answer is, ‘We here in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, will believe a kid….A jury of 12 people in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, most definitely would and did believe a kid.”
The crowd outside the Centre County Courthouse in central Pennsylvania broke out in cheers as the news came of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky being held guilty on 45 out of 48 child sex abuse charges. The verdict of the jury ended the trial that exposed the abuse of children in showers and locker rooms of schools and that had triggered a national outburst against pedophilia.
While Joe Amandola, the lawyer of Sandusky kept claiming to the last minute that the whole trial was a fiasco arranged by overzealous prosecutors and lies by accusers hoping for a big payday in civil suits, the jury did not buy his arguments. While one after another the victims tried to face their nightmares in the witness box, Sandusky tried to stare them down, while Amandola kept asking them questions to hurt their credibility and motive. Even after the jury gave the verdict, Amandola pointed out to the media, “there are a lot of people sitting in jails across this country who are innocent,” the crowd jeered at his comment.
The last nail in the coffin was put by Sandusky’s adopted son, Matt, who on Thursday, met the prosecutors to tell them that he had been sexually abused by Sandusky, and thereafter adopted as his son with the situation continuing.
Mike McQueary, a former Penn State assistant coach told the jury that he had reported an incident of Sandusky abusing a young boy in a football locker room in 2001, to Paterno, but the report was not acted upon. Neither the police nor child protection services were informed. According to the prosecutors, at least three other children were abused by Sandusky after that event.
A statement from the family of Joe Paterno, who lost his job when Sandusky’s evil ways came to light, mentioned, “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.
Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing at least 10 boys over a 15-year period. As news of his verdict spread lawyers and sex abuse hotlines experience a huge surge in calls and emails.