The Washington Times Online Edition
Select a category: 

Juror: Sandusky accusers’ credibility boosted case

Mugshot

In this courtroom sketch, Judge John Cleland, second from left, defendant former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, right, and his lawyer Karl Rominger, second from right, listen at the verdict in Sandusky’s child sexual abuse trial is read by the jury foreman at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012. Sandusky was found guilty of 45 charges of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a period of 15 years. (AP Photo/Aggie Kenny)

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.

Sandusky appeared to be accepting his fate, Harper said, “because he knew it was true.”

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.”

Sandusky, a retired defensive coach, showed little emotion as the verdict was read, giving his wife, Dottie, and family members a half-wave as the county sheriff led him away.

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.”

The other acquittals were an indecent assault charge related to Victim 5, who said Sandusky fondled him in the shower, and an involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charge regarding Victim 2, the boy graduate assistant Mike McQueary saw being attacked in a campus shower.

That charge resulted in an acquittal because McQueary did not see penetration, Harper said. But, Harper said, McQueary made it apparent he saw something “that was wrong and extremely sexual.”

“We did not have the evidence that that very first charge happened,” Harper said. “… And we were in agreement amongst all the jurors that because of that, we could not convict him of that first count.”

Almost immediately after the judge adjourned, loud cheers could be heard from a couple hundred people gathered outside the courthouse as word quickly spread that Sandusky had been convicted. The crowd included victim advocates and local residents with their kids. Many held up their smartphones to take pictures as people filtered out of the building.

As Sandusky was placed in the cruiser to be taken to jail, someone yelled at him to “rot in hell!” Others hurled insults and he shook his head no in response.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story
Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
All site contents © Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC
Jobs | About | Customer Service | Terms | Privacy