Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty in a Pennsylvania state court of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
The retired Penn State assistant football coach, who was defensive coordinator under Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno, was convicted on 45 of 48 counts against him.
The crimes are horrible and serious, including rape and sodomy. Mr. Sandusky, 68, used his status and a charity he created to befriend and then violate innocent children, all from disadvantaged homes. The kids, who loved sports, initially were flattered by the attention and gifts they received from Mr. Sandusky. Then, tragically, they were sexually abused.
A jury of seven women and five men, more than half with ties to Penn State, deliberated less than two days before returning their verdict Friday night in Bellefonte, Pa.
Eight of 10 victims, all young men, testified that they had been violated as children by Mr. Sandusky. For the other two victims, prosecutors relied on testimony from a janitor and former assistant coach Mike McQueary, who as a graduate assistant said he witnessed the accused abusing a boy in a university facility.
Mr. Sandusky, who has denied the charges and will appeal the verdict, faces the possibility of life in prison. Judge John Cleland revoked Mr. Sanduskys bail and ordered him to the county jail to await sentencing in about three months.
Mr. Sanduskys acts have devastated innocent children and families. But the case has been devastating on many levels. It has tarnished Penn State and distressed the surrounding community. It led to the firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno and the universitys longtime president Graham B. Spanier. Lawsuits have been filed and investigations continue.
Yet the jury did its job and justice has spoken. As the prosecutor, Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly, said: A serious child predator ... has been held accountable for his crimes.
May the case raise awareness of such crimes and help communities protect children from sexual abuse. May justice provide a measure of healing for the victims.