Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been convicted of 45 of the 48 counts against him. He was convicted of sexually abusing ten young boys. Eight men who said that Sandusky had abused them testified during the trial; their accounts — often graphic and certainly troubling — described abuse by Sandusky in the facilities of the Penn State campus or in his home. He now faces up to 500 years in prison after being found guilty of 45 counts of serial pedophilia.
Sandusky was the long-time defensive coordinator for Penn State’s powerhouse college football team. The charges against Sandusky tarnished not only the university’s famous football program but the reputation of legendary late football coach Joe Paterno who was fired as details of the scandal emerged. Penn State’s president Graham Spanier was also fired by the Board of Trustees after Sandusky’s arrest last November. Two other high-ranking university administrators face ongoing criminal proceedings for allegedly knowing about the abuse committed by Sandusky but failing to report it.
Prosecutors charged that Sandusky had created a charity to help troubled youth, The Second Mile, as his “private hunting ground” to find young victims.
Sandusky did not testify; his wife, Dottie Sandusky, said that she had never been aware of any inappropriate behavior between her husband and others. The Sanduskys had six adopted children one of whom, Matt Sandusky, had offered to testify that he had been sexually abused by his father.
According to numerous accounts, Sandusky “was continually in the company of one or more of those boys, taking them to workouts and football games, giving them gifts, having them sleep at his home and even showering with them,” New York Times says.
The scandal has not only led to a call for tougher laws about child abuse and reporting it in Pennsylvania but also a wrenching public debate about college sports and the role of coaches and other trusted men in the lives of children.
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