Public Believes Sandusky Sentence Well Deserved
Barrington M. Salmon | , WI Staff Writer | 7/12/2012, 2:29 p.m.
As he has read and listened to televised accounts of the abuses the disgraced former Penn State University defensive coordinator visited on defenseless young victims, Del McFadden said he has one recurring question: How could this have gone on so long without Jerry Sandusky being detected?
That is just one of a number of questions the public is left to ask following a high-profile trial after which Sandusky was found guilty in 45 of 48 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over the course of 15 years. The 68-year-old convicted pedophile could spend the rest of his life in prison if his appeals are rebuffed.
"It appears that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence against him but when I last heard, he was still claiming innocence," said McFadden, outreach coordinator with the Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative in Northwest. "The thing that's shocked me was the period of time - 15 years. What's wild is that someone had to know something. My question is why?"
Jurors took more than 20 hours to deliberate and return with a verdict.
Lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan's comments to jurors shortly before they began deliberations crystallized what the trial represented.
"I have 10 souls in my pocket - childhoods ravaged, memories destroyed by this man. You can't give back the pieces of their souls that he took," McGettigan said on the final day.
Linda Kelly, Pennsylvania's Attorney General, declared in remarks following the trial that justice for those 10 boys had finally been served.
"This defendant, a serial child predator who committed horrific acts upon his victims, causing lifelong and life changing consequences for all of them, has been held accountable for his crimes," Kelly said.
For Houston, Texas homemaker Sheila Price, the stories each victim revealed on the witness stand about their exploitation fueled her sorrow.
"It's just really sad, sad for him and his family and sad for the children,"said Price, 54. "It's also a sad state of affairs that it went on for so long and has now come to light. To me, he's guilty. He's a grown man and even if he wasn't doing anything, as an adult there are certain boundaries he should not have crossed. There are some boundaries adults must maintain."
D.C. educator Marva Shand McIntosh said she was pleased with the verdict but worried that Sandusky's actions have tarnished the good work non-profits do.
"The saddest part of the story for me was that he was able to reach these boys under the guise of a charitable organization," said McIntosh, who works with the District of Columbia Public Schools. "He reached out to these kids and victimized them with what they were running from. It is so sad. Essentially, he was a homosexual and a pedophile who adopted a kid and then abused him."
McIntosh was referring to the bombshell announcement by one of Sandusky's adopted children, Matt, that he was abused by his adopted father.
Sandusky's lawyer Joe Amendola said in a CBS News interview that Sandusky "was absolutely going to testify in his own defense right up until" ... the news broke that Matt Sandusky, 33, the family's youngest adopted son, had informed the prosecution that Sandusky had abused him as a young boy and was available to the prosecution as a final rebuttal witness. Matt Sandusky had previously defended his father when the elder Sandusky was arrested last November but he recounted his story of the alleged abuses against him to police during his father's trial.