WILKES-BARRE — Many people in our area have been following the Sandusky case closely, from charges to Friday night’s guilty verdict.
Some people in Wilkes-Barre said they believe the jury made the right decision.
Jerry Sandusky left the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte late Friday night in handcuffs after being found guilty of nearly all the 48 counts of sexual abuse he faced.
On Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square, many people said they followed the trial closely, waiting for two days as the jury deliberated Sandusky’s fate.
“I was anxious last night waiting to hear what was going to happen, and when I found out the count was guilty, guilty, guilty, I just felt relief and at the same time, sadness for the people who suffered,” said Amber Summers of Wilkes-Barre.
The jury heard eight victims tell of repeatedly being molested by Sandusky.
Richard Matello of Forty Fort said the verdict was the right one.
“I think justice was done. He was doing that for years and getting away with it,” said Matello.
“I had thought because there was so many people from Penn State, that his lawyers stacked the deck a little bit, but that’s not the case at all. There were decent people that are affiliated with them, but yet they know right from wrong,” he added of the jury.
Bob Ogden said the court of public opinion judged Sandusky long before the jury did.
“Obviously he was guilty though. All those kids didn`t make up all those stories. All those people didn`t lie like that. I`m sure there are extenuating circumstances, but bottom line is, he`s guilty and he has to go to jail,” said Bob Ogden of Wilkes-Barre.
“We feel like he`s got a long time ahead of him to get what he deserves. Anybody that would touch a kid like that, definitely deserves to have some bad things happen to them,” added Sarah LaBarbera of Wilkes-Barre.
Others said they hope with Sandusky behind bars, the victims will be able to get some sort of closure.
“I don’t know if you can ever get closure from something like that, you know what I mean. I don’t think that’s possible, but I think they have to go on with their lives. They have to just deal with it the best they can and find support with friends and peers,” said Ogden.
“There`s a long road ahead for them, because now there`s the officials from the college. I`m sure it`s going to continue, but this is a good beginning,” added Summers.
Jerry Sandusky will be sentenced within 90 days. Given the nature and number of the charges and the convictions, it will likely be a life sentence for the once-revered assistant football coach.