Huffpost Crime

Jerry Sandusky Juror Joshua Harper Discusses Deliberations While Victims' Families Talk

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Jerry Sandusky was taken into custody Friday night after being convicted of 45 crimes.
Jerry Sandusky was taken into custody Friday night after being convicted of 45 crimes.

The sweeping guilty verdict in the Jerry Sandusky trial unleashed such strong emotions in one of the victims that it stopped him in his tracks.

The 18 year old identified in court as Accuser 1 was headed to work when his mother called him to relay the jury's verdict on Friday night finding Sandusky guilty of 45 crimes.

"He had to pull over his car," his mom told ABC News. "We talked about it for a few minutes. He was extremely happy."

Her son was the first victim to accuse the ex-Penn State assistant football coach of sexual abuse. A recent high school graduate, he testified about meeting Sandusky through his Second Mile charity. Eventually, he told the court, Sandusky invited him to his home where he performed oral sex on him in the basement.

His mom said he's working with the Let Go ... Let Peace Come In foundation to help other victims of abuse.

"He's a strong one," she said to ABC News. "He's a survivor and he'll get through it."

Victims' families and members of the jury have come forward to talk more about the monumental verdict that -- if it holds up despite an expected appeal -- will likely lead to a sentence of more than 400 years for Sandusky.

"I thought I'd be happy," Accuser 8's mother said, according to CNN. "But there's no joy. We all lost."

Her 25-year-old son was the only one of the eight accusers to attend court in Bellefonte, Pa to hear the foreman read the conviction on 45 of 48 counts, CNN reported.

The two-week trial was emotionally wrenching for some of the jury's five men and seven women, including one who appeared to cry Friday night.

But one juror described the satisfaction that came from convicting a predator who abused disadvantaged boys for years.

“It feels good to expose something that was covered up,” said Joshua Harper, 31, a Penn State alumnus, according to the Washington Post. “It’s a statement that there needs to be accountability and change. It’s the beginning of our time to heal.”

Sandusky's lack of outward emotion as the verdict was read convinced Harper that the jury reached the right conclusion.

"That was just confirmation again," Harper told NBC's Today show. "You know I looked at him during the reading of the verdict, and just the look on his face, no real emotion, just kind of accepting, you know, because he knew it was true."

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