BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- If convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky has any supporters left, they were noticeably absent from the courthouse steps Friday night when the jury revealed its guilty verdict.
"I would say everyone around here thought he was guilty," local retiree Jenny Andrus told The Huffington Post. Her husband, Bill Andrus, echoed her remarks. "I was absolutely convinced of his guilt. There was just so many [victims]," he added.
Sandusky was convicted Friday of 45 of 48 criminal counts related to the alleged assault of 10 boys over a 15-year period. The allegations led to the ouster of the late Penn State University president and long-time coach Joe Paterno, who died in January.
The 68-year-old Sandusky could spend the rest of his life in prison.
"Our grandson was best friends with Victim No. 1," Bill Andrus said. "They were on the junior high wrestling team together. So knowing Victim No. 1, we had a personal interest and were hopeful it would come out this way."
Prior to the verdict being announced, Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, told reporters in the Centre County Courthouse that he might "die of a heart attack" in shock if Sandusky was acquitted on all charges.
"When your own attorney says you're guilty, then you know you're in trouble," Ana Marks, of Bellefonte, told HuffPost. "I would have been shocked if he had been acquitted."
The entire community, including those who work at Penn State, had watched the case closely. Dozens of those gathered on the courthouse steps cheered when the verdict was announced.
"I am absolutely thrilled. I am a Penn State employee, and I think Penn State needed a little vindication in this and the victims absolutely did. I was convinced of guilt. We hoped he would not walk," Ginger Kowalchuk told HuffPost.
Terry Pfaff agreed.
"I am happy with the verdict," Pfaff said. The Bellefonte resident, however, also recognized the pain some are still experiencing. "I am also very sad," she said. "This is a sad time for this community and this university. I hope they can begin their healing now."
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Sandusky did not testify on his own behalf, but his wife, Dottie Sandusky, did take the stand. She said she never witnessed any inappropriate contact between her husband and the young boys.
Dottie Sandusky has not been charged in connection with the case, but not everyone believes she was clueless.
"She knew. Come on," Bill Andrus said.
"Dottie had to know. She just didn't want to know," Jenny Andrus added.
Kelly Houp, who lives in Bellefonte, had harsh words for the Sandusky family.
"I knew he was guilty," she said. "All those kids would not lie. Everyone knew he did it. Dottie knew too and she should be hung."
Of the dozens of people interviewed by The Huffington Post at the courthouse Friday, not one said they were disappointed with the verdict.
As the dust begins eventually to settle on the case files, the case likely will not be soon forgotten.
"This was phenomenal for this town. This will be remembered for years to come," Jenny Andrus said.
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