Sandusky guilty of child abuse

 

A jury has found US college football coach Jerry Sandusky guilty on 45 of 48 child sex abuse charges.

The trial rocked US college football and renewed attention on paedophilia in America.

Sandusky (68) faces potentially hundreds of years in prison for molesting 10 boys over 15 years.

A large crowd that gathered outside the Centre County Courthouse in central Pennsylvania broke into cheers upon learning of the news.

One of the victims who had testified burst into tears as the verdict was read.

Sandusky stood and faced the foreman and appeared expressionless, tucking his hands into his pockets.

His wife, Dottie, sitting behind him, showed no emotion.

 Pennsylvania attorney general Linda Kelly praised the eight victims, all now adults, who came forward to testify in the two-week trial that featured graphic sexual detail of Sandusky's abuse. 

Ms Kelly praised the victims for their courage to speak "not only to the jury and a packed courtroom ... but also the entire world."

Defence attorney Joe Amendola said he was examining the grounds for an appeal. 

"They're devastated," Mr Amendola said of Sandusky's relatives, "but they've been devastated ever since these charges came to light."

The decision came after 21 hours of deliberation over two days by a jury of seven women and five men.

Nine of the 16 jurors and alternates had ties to Pennsylvania State University, and the final days of the trial drew large crowds to the courthouse in central Pennsylvania.

The case cast a pall over a university community known as Happy Valley and cost

legendary head coach Joe Paterno his job after a half-century career in which he won more games than any major college coach.

Paterno died of lung cancer two months later at age 85. 

Sandusky, the defensive genius behind Paterno who helped give Penn State its nickname of Linebacker U, faced 48 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period, sometimes at Penn State facilities.

The jury convicted him of 25 felonies and 20 misdemeanors. 

Reuters