A Pennsylvania jury found former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky guilty of 45 of 48 counts of sexually abusing boys over a course of 15 years.

Jurors delivered the verdict Friday evening, after deliberating for about 21 hours. There were convictions related to all 10 sexual abuse victims, with the three not-guilty verdicts applying to three different individuals.

The scandal came to light last year, when it was discovered Sandusky had sexually abused a young boy in the Penn State locker room in 2001 – and it was covered up. It triggered a shakeup at the Penn State football program and led to the firing of one of college football's most revered figures, coach Joe Paterno, who died two months later from lung cancer.

Sandusky was arrested and a trial set, with eight alleged victims eventually taking the stand against Sandusky, saying he approached them through his now-defunct charity, The Second Mile – an organization for disadvantaged boys – and ended up sexually abusing them.

The defense attempted to portray Sandusky as a victim of a conspiracy in which the alleged victims were out for money.

"They went after him, and I submit to you they were going to get him hell or high water," his attorney, Joe Amendola, said in summations, adding that all his client wanted to do "was to help kids."

Sandusky, 68, reportedly appeared stunned as the verdicts were read, while his wife, Dottie, and four of their children sat in silence. Some of the victims and their families broke into tears, while there were cheers outside the courthouse.

The former football coach’s sentencing will be in 90 days, and he could face life in prison.

 

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