BELLEFONTE, Pa. —
Lead defense attorney Joe Amendola was interrupted by cheers from the crowd on courthouse steps when he said, "The sentence that Jerry will receive will be a life sentence."
Eight young men testified in a central Pennsylvania courtroom about a range of abuse, from kissing and massages to groping, oral sex and anal rape. For two other alleged victims, prosecutors relied on testimony from a university janitor and then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary, whose account of a sexual encounter between Sandusky and a boy of about 10 ultimately led to Paterno's firing and the university president's ouster.
Sandusky did not take the stand in his own defense, which Amendola said was a last-minute strategy change.
Defense attorney Karl Rominger said it was "a tough case" with a lot of charges and that an appeal was certain. He said the defense team "didn't exactly have a lot of time to prepare."
Amendola praised the prosecution, the judge and the jury and added: "Jerry indicated he was disappointed with the verdict, but obviously he has to live with it." He said he would appeal.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly thanked the accusers who testified, calling them "brave men."
She said she hoped the verdict "helps these victims heal ... and helps other victims of abuse to come forward."
"One of the recurring themes in this case was: Who would believe a kid?" she said. "The answer is: We here in Bellefonte, Pa., would believe a kid."
Sandusky repeatedly denied the allegations, and his defense suggested that his accusers had a financial motive to make up stories, years after the fact. His attorney also painted Sandusky as the victim of overzealous police investigators who coached the alleged victims into giving accusatory statements.