BREAKING NEWS: Jury Finds Sandusky Guilty on 45 of 48 Counts
CENTRE COUNTY, Penn. (CNN) – Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on Friday night on 45 of 48 counts related to sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period.
The jury deliberated into the night Friday the fate of Jerry Sandusky, even as the former Penn State assistant football coach’s lawyer said he might “die of a heart attack” in shock if his client is acquitted on all 48 counts related to child sexual abuse.
Joe Amendola made the comments while surrounded by a pack of reporters early Friday evening in the Centre County courtroom. One asked the lawyer — who also talked about the “daunting” challenge of defending Sandusky — if he would be “shocked” if his client was cleared on all charges.
“Shocked? I’ll probably die of a heart attack,” Amendola said.
The comments came as jurors weighed Sandusky’s fate for a second straight day.
Earlier, they’d requested transcripts from the trial including statements of prosecution witness Mike McQueary, who testified that he saw Sandusky apparently sodomizing a boy, and defense witness Dr. Jonathan Dranov, who said McQueary’s initial account differed from what he said on the stand. Both accounts were read back to jurors.
Dranov, an acquaintance of McQueary, told the Pennsylvania court that McQueary, a former graduate assistant and assistant coach at Penn State, told him that he heard “sexual sounds.”
McQueary said he saw the boy in the shower when an arm reached around him, but did not actually see a sexual encounter, Dranov recalled.
Soon after, Sandusky, the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, emerged from the shower area, he added.
But McQueary testified that he saw Sandusky pressing against the boy in the university shower and it seemed obvious that he was raping him.
Later on Friday, Judge John Cleland discussed with jurors the statements of Ronald Petrosky, cautioning them against using his testimony in their decision without additional corroboration.
Petrosky, a janitor, said that James Calhoun, a co-worker who reportedly suffers from dementia, told him that he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a boy during his shift one evening.
The two men had been working together when Calhoun informed Petrosky of the alleged incident.
“The hearsay statements of Mr. Calhoun … as related to you by Mr. Petrosky is not sufficient standing alone to sustain a conviction,” Cleland instructed jurors Friday. “You must be satisfied there is other evidence that supports that a crime has been committed besides Mr. Calhoun’s hearsay statement.”
On Thursday, jurors deliberated until about 9:30 p.m. before breaking off, and began reviewing the evidence when they resumed their duties Friday morning.
Sandusky, 68, is accused of sexually abusing 10 young male victims over a 15-year period.
As the case went to the jury, new revelations came to light.
Matt Sandusky, one of six adopted children of Jerry Sandusky, said through his attorney Thursday that he was sexually abused by the former coach, and added that he had been prepared to testify against him.
The new accusation could lead to additional charges, including incest, even though Matt Sandusky was adopted, according to Marci Hamilton, a professor at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo Law School who has represented victims and written on sexual abuse cases.
“At Matt’s request, we immediately arranged a meeting between him and the prosecutors and investigators,” said attorneys Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici. “This has been an extremely painful experience for Matt, and he has asked us to convey his request that the media respect his privacy.”
The jurors are deciding Sandusky’s fate without having heard from him on the witness stand.
During closing arguments Thursday, his defense sought to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, reminding jurors of the lack of physical evidence. Amendola accused the alleged victims of conspiring for financial gain while blaming the media for what he described as biased coverage.
As the lawyer talked, Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, quietly wept.
Lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan rebuffed the defense’s account of a coordinated action among Sandusky’s accusers allegedly bent on financial windfall.
“The commonwealth has overwhelming evidence against Mr. Sandusky,” he said.
Earlier this week, defense witness Dr. Elliot Atkins testified that he diagnosed Sandusky with histrionic personality disorder, part of a class of conditions called dramatic personality disorders that are marked by unstable emotions and distorted self-images. But a second psychologist, prosecution rebuttal witness Dr. John O’Brien, disputed those findings, saying that the “personality profile Mr. Sandusky exhibited was within normal limits.”
During the trial, Matt Sandusky’s name came up in the testimony of one of Sandusky’s accusers, who talked about what occurred after he played racquetball once with Jerry and Matt Sandusky.
“Matt went into the shower, and then me and Jerry came in. … He started pumping his hand full of soap, like he was going to throw it. Matt got out. … He went to another shower” area.
According to some of the accusers, Jerry Sandusky would often use shower “soap fights” as a prelude to inappropriate sexual contact.
In his 2001 autobiography, “Touched,” Jerry Sandusky wrote about his relationship with Matt Sandusky, whom he met through Second Mile when the youth was 7 or 8.
Sandusky detailed the youth’s discipline problems and struggles before he ultimately became close to his new family.
Meanwhile, a man who claims he was repeatedly sexually abused by Sandusky while a child spoke out Thursday.
“He (once) told me if I ever said anything, that nobody was going to believe me and he would get my dad fired from Penn State,” Travis Weaver, 30, said on NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams.”
Weaver did not testify in Sandusky’s trial, but has filed a civil action against the former coach.