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Sandusky defense will pursue 'appeal issues'

June 22, 2012 at 11:19 PM   |   Comments

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BELLEFONTE, Pa., June 22 (UPI) -- A jury in Pennsylvania Friday found former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky guilty on 45 of the 48 counts of sexual abuse against him.

Sandusky, who was charged with molesting boys he met through his Second Mile charity, appeared to be shaken but had no comment as he was led from the courthouse in handcuffs to a waiting police car.

"The Sandusky family is very disappointed, obviously, by the verdict of the jury, but we respect their verdict," Sandusky's attorney, Robert Amendola, said outside the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa.

"We have some appeal issues we'll pursue," Amendola said. "We feel we have some decent appeal issues."

Amendola acknowledged the guilty verdicts had been "the expected outcome because of the overwhelming evidence against Jerry Sandusky."

He said the defense was unable to overcome "a tidal wave of public opinion" and said Sandusky "had been determined to be guilty by the public and the media" before the trial began.

He said Sandusky faces life in prison when he is sentenced.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly called Sandusky "a serial child predator who committed horrific acts upon his victims" and said he "has been held accountable for his crimes."

Speaking after the verdict was read, Kelly said she hoped the verdict "encourages other victims of sexual abuse to come forward" and that it will "shine a bright light in those dark, dark places where the Jerry Sanduskys of the world lurk."

Speaking with reporters while the jury deliberated for a second day, Amendola said if Sandusky were acquitted on all charges, "I will probably die of a heart attack," ABC News Radio reported.

Prosecutors in the trial Friday re-enacted testimony of Mike McQueary, a witness who said he saw Sandusky molesting a boy.

McQueary, who said he saw Sandusky and the boy in a Penn State shower stall, was the only witness to provide direct corroboration of the stories of men who say Sandusky victimized them when they were children. Jurors heard his testimony again Friday, with Joseph McGettigan, the lead prosecutor, reading the questions and another prosecutor reading the answers, ABC News reported.

Jurors asked Judge John Cleland Friday afternoon to reread a portion of his instructions to them on how they are to consider evidence submitted regarding a boy allegedly seen in the shower with Sandusky by a janitor in 2000. The janitor, James Calhoun, has dementia and was unable to testify, but a former colleague of his, Ronald Petrosky, testified Calhoun told him about the incident, ABC said.

Investigators have not been able to locate the boy.

Cleland told the jurors Friday he would not approve any further review of evidence.

"I understand why this particular exchange might be important to your deliberations, but as a practical matter, we can't go back and redo the trial, so with regard to other witnesses, unless it is extremely important I'm going to instruct you to rely on your memories," the judge said.

Lawyers gave their closing arguments Thursday. Amendola suggested the former coach is a victim of overzealous prosecutors and men who hope to make money from civil suits. McGettigan said the evidence showed convincingly Sandusky is a serial sexual predator.

Jurors began deliberation Thursday and discussed the case for about 7 hours before breaking for the night.

An adopted son of Sandusky told prosecutors he would have testified at the trial Sandusky molested him, his attorney said.

Andrew Shubin, attorney for Matt Sandusky, 33, said his client, who was adopted by Jerry and Dottie Sandusky as an adult after living with them as a foster child, was prepared to testify if called by prosecutors, the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reported Thursday.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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