Juror says Sandusky accepted verdict, "knew it was true"

BELLEFONTE, Penn. Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:22pm EDT

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BELLEFONTE, Penn. (Reuters) - One of the jurors who convicted Jerry Sandusky on 45 charges of child sex abuse said on Saturday that the former Penn State assistant football coach seemed to accept the verdict as a confirmation of the accusations.

"I looked at him during the reading of the verdict, and the look on his face, no real emotion, just kind of accepting, you know, because he knew it was true," juror Joshua Harper told the NBC Today Show.

The 12-member jury in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, deliberated over 21 hours and found the 68-year-old former football coach guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, sometimes at Penn State University facilities.

The jury convicted him of 45 counts and acquitted him on three on Friday night. Sandusky was taken to jail and faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.

Harper said there had been disagreement on some of the charges before the jury reached its unanimous decision.

"We looked at some inconsistencies in some of the testimony and we wanted to reconcile those and make sure that wouldn't discredit the testimony. And so we worked through those things systematically as a jury," he told NBC.

After the jury began its deliberations on Thursday, a lawyer for the former coach's adopted son released the surprise accusation that Matt Sandusky too had been sexually abused by the former coach. Matt Sandusky, 33, was adopted after living with Sandusky and his wife Dottie as a foster child and was not among the victims involved in the charges.

Jurors did not learn of that allegation until after returning their verdict.

"We were all basically told at the same time, we heard about it at the same time, and we were just looking at each other like we had suspected that but we had no evidence of it. It just solidified our decision," Harper said.

Sandusky was taken away in handcuffs to prison late on Friday night. One of Sandusky's lawyers, Karl Rominger, said on Saturday that the former coach was under individual guard at the county jail, known as suicide watch, and was apart from the general prison population.

Rominger reiterated that Sandusky will appeal the verdict but this cannot be done until he is sentenced in 90 days or so.

There is no reason to investigate Sandusky's wife Dottie, who testified during the trial that she had no knowledge of the alleged abuse, Rominger said.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly has said the investigation of the Penn State sex abuse case will continue after the verdict.

(Additional reporting by Vicki Allen; Writing by Jane Sutton; Editing by Greg McCune and Jackie Frank)

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