BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Jerry Sandusky entered the Centre County Courthouse Friday as one of the most celebrated figures in the history of Penn State sports. He left a convicted child molester.

Following two days of jury deliberations, Sandusky was found guilty Friday of molesting several young boys.

The 68-year-old could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Sandusky was convicted 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.

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Prosecutors said Sandusky was a "predatory pedophile" and a "sick, disturbed man," who targeted "the most vulnerable kids, kids in need."

Defense lawyer Joe Amendola said Sandusky was the victim of a grand conspiracy and that prosecutors provided no physical evidence to prove he had molested anyone. Because of the allegations, "everything [Jerry Sandusky] ever loved, everything he's ever built, and everything he's ever stood for -- it's gone," Amendola said.

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  • Joseph E. McGettigan III

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, right, is escorted by Centre County Sheriff Denny Nau, left, as he is taken into custody at the Centre County Courthouse after being found guilty of multiple charges of child sexual abuse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012. Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years on Friday, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, rear, leaves the Centre County Courthouse with a Centre County Sheriff's deputy after being found guilty of multiple charges of child sexual abuse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012. Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Outside Courthouse

    The scene outside the courthouse after the verdict was announced.

  • Jerry Sandusky, Dottie Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, rear, and his wife Dottie leave the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012.

  • Dorothy Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's wife Dorothy Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Thursday, June 21, 2012.

  • Gary Schultz

    Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley, right, arrives for a hearing at Dauphin County Court, Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, in Harrisburg, Pa.

  • Jerry Sandusky, Karl Rominger

    In this courtroom sketch, Karl Rominger, left, attorney for Jerry Sandusky, right, listen as the testimony of Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary is reenacted at the request of the jury during the second day of jury deliberations in Sandusky's child sexual abuse trial at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012.

  • FILE - This Dec. 7, 2011 file booking photo released by the Centre County Correctional Facility in Bellefonte, Penn. shows former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky.

  • Dottie Sandusky

    In this Dec. 13, 2011 file photo, Dottie Sandusky, wife of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

  • The Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., is shown Monday, Dec. 12, 2011.

  • Mike McQueary

    In this file photo from Jan. 25, 2012, former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary arrives to the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on the Penn State campus for the funeral service of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in State College, Pa.

  • Jerry Sandusky

    In this Feb. 10, 2012 file photo, Jerry Sandusky speaks to the media at the Centre County Courthouse after a bail conditions hearing, in Bellefonte, Pa. Former FBI chief Louis Freeh and his investigators have conducted 200 interviews in their expansive probe into the child sex scandal at Penn State.

  • This March 26, 2012 file photo shows the sign outside the State College, Pa. office of The Second Mile. The charity for troubled youths started by Jerry Sandusky more than three decades ago -- and through which the retired Penn State assistant football coach met the boys he was sexually abusing.

  • Gary Schultz, Tim Curley

    FILE - In these Nov. 7, 2011 file photos, former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz, left, and former athletic director Tim Curley, right, enter a district judge's office for an arraignment in Harrisburg, Pa., for their actions related to the sex abuse scandal surrounding former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Despite Sandusky�'s delay requests, it now appears his case will get under way Tuesday, June 5, 2012, with selection of jurors from among neighbors in the area around Penn State, a location that before November could be called Happy Valley without a hint of irony or bitterness. (AP Photo/Brad Bower, left, Matt Rourke, right, File)

  • Karl Rominger

    FILE - In this file photo from Dec. 13, 2011, Karl Rominger, an attorney for former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky who is accused of molesting boys over a 15-year period, stands outside the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. Rominger entered his formal appearance on Sandusky's behalf in April 2012, but had previously been assisting with the defense. Despite Sandusky�'s delay requests, it now appears his case will get under way Tuesday, June 5, 2012, with selection of jurors from among neighbors in the area around Penn State, a location that before November could be called Happy Valley without a hint of irony or bitterness. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • Sue Paterno

    FILE - In this file photo from Jan. 26, 2012, Sue Paterno, wife of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, enters a memorial service at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa. A capacity crowd of more than 12,000 packed the arena for one more tribute to Paterno, the Hall of Fame football coach who died from lung cancer. Despite former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky�'s delay requests, it now appears his case involving charges of child abuse will get under way Tuesday, June 5, 2012, with selection of jurors from among neighbors in the area around Penn State, a location that before November could be called Happy Valley without a hint of irony or bitterness. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2012 file photo, Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach charged with sexually abusing boys, speaks to the media at the Centre County Courthouse after a bail conditions hearing in Bellefonte, Pa. Alleged victims of Sandusky will not be allowed to avoid disclosure of their names by testifying under pseudonyms, and tweets or other electronic communications by reporters will not be permitted during the trial, the judge ruled Monday, June 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

  • Television satellite trucks set up outside the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Monday, June 4, 2012, in preparation for the start of the child sexual abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Joe Paterno

    FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2006 file photo, then Penn State coach Joe Paterno watches the college football game against Youngstown State in State College, Pa. Paterno, the Penn State football coach since 1966, was told by an assistant coach that he saw former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and a young boy in a shower on the Penn State campus and Paterno in turn, told Penn State officials. The Penn State Board of Trustees ousted him on Nov. 6, 201 for what was called his �"failure of leadership�" surrounding allegations about Sandusky. He died of lung cancer Jan. 22, 2012. Despite Sandusky�'s delay requests, it now appears his case will get under way Tuesday, June 5, 2012, with selection of jurors from among neighbors in the area around Penn State, a location that before November could be called Happy Valley without a hint of irony or bitterness. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

  • Tom Corbett

    FILE - In this March 8, 2011 file photo, Gov. Tom Corbett addresses a joint session of the Pennsylvania House and Senate in Harrisburg, Pa. Corbett was the attorney general when the investigation into former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was launched by state prosecutors. Sandusky is accused of molesting boys over a 15-year period. Corbett also serves as a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, although he did not actively participate until after Sandusky was charged in December. Despite Sandusky�'s delay requests, it now appears his case will get under way Tuesday, June 5, 2012, with selection of jurors from among neighbors in the area around Penn State, a location that before November could be called Happy Valley without a hint of irony or bitterness. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

  • Joe Amendola

    FILE - In this file photo from Dec. 13, 2011, Joe Amendola, attorney for former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky who is accused of molesting boys over a 15-year period, talks with media outside the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. Amendola has been second-guessed for allowing Sandusky to go on network television and speak at length with a reporter for The New York Times after his arrest. Despite Sandusky�'s delay requests, it now appears his case will get under way Tuesday, June 5, 2012, with selection of jurors from among neighbors in the area around Penn State, a location that before November could be called Happy Valley without a hint of irony or bitterness. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • Mike McQueary

    File-This Sept. 12, 2009 file photo shows Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary walking the sideline during the second half of their college football game against Syracuse in State College, Pa. McQueary, whose report of Jerry Sandusky allegedly attacking a child in the showers led to Joe Paterno's firing said in a court filing Tuesday May 8, 2012 that he is suing the school. The "writ of summons" filed by McQueary's lawyer described it as a whistle-blower case, but the brief document was not accompanied by a full complaint that would lay out the allegations. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster,File)

  • Jerry Sandusky, Joe Amendola

    FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2011 file photo, former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center left, walks with his attorney Joe Amendola, center right, as he leaves the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. Of all the boys Sandusky is accused of molesting, none has been the focus of more outrage than the one known as Victim 2 _ the boy allegedly abused in a locker room shower, the case that ended Joe Paterno's career and the issue that spawned criminal charges against two school officials. Prosecutors say they don't know one important fact about him: his identity. The prospect that a victim in a sex abuse case is unknown presents a challenge for prosecutors; another potential complication is that Sandusky believes he knows the alleged victim _ and says he could help exonerate him. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • People display shirts asking the board to resign before a meeting of the Penn State Board of Trustees at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Friday, March 16, 2012 in Hershey, Pa. The trustees are meeting in Hershey to discuss potential changes to the board amid criticism over its handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Joe Paterno

    FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2011 file photo, Penn State coach Joe Paterno arrives home, in State College, Pa. Penn State's trustees say late coach Joe Paterno's failure to follow up on a sexual abuse allegation against former assistant Jerry Sandusky "constituted a failure of leadership" that ultimately led to his firing in November. A report issued Monday, March 12, 2012, by the trustees says the board ultimately decided to fire Paterno after learning the details of his testimony before a grand jury when charges were filed against Sandusky. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

  • Mike McQueary

    Former Penn State assistant football caoch Mike McQueary, left, arrives to the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on the Penn State campus for the funeral service of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in State College, Pa., Wednesday Jan. 25, 2012. As a graduate assistant to Paterno in 2002, McQueary went to the coach saying he had witnessed former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky assaulting a boy in the shower at the Penn State football building. Paterno died Sunday at the age of 85. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

  • Joe Paterno, Joe Sandusky

  • Jerry Sandusky, Dottie Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, right center, arrives with his wife Dottie, left center, at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012. Sandusky is accused of sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, arrives at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012. Sandusky is accused of sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Joseph E. McGettigan III

    Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse Friday, June 22, 2012, after being found guilty in his sexual abuse trial, in Bellefonte, Pa. Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years Friday, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark)

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.

The case has attracted widespread media coverage, as Sandusky was one of the most notable assistant football coaches in the country and the founder of The Second Mile, a nonprofit charity for underprivileged and at-risk youth.

People reacted with unrestrained joy when word of the verdict reached the crowd outside the courthouse. Some were chanting "Justice," while others sat on the sidewalk in lawn chairs to enjoy the spectacle.

"Our grandson was best friends with Victim No. 1," Bill Andrus told The Huffinton Post. "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."

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."

Crime expert Scott A. Bonn, an assistant professor of sociology at Drew University, called the decision "a certainty."

"This case shocked the nation, violated our collective sense of morality and demonstrated that our children may not be safe from sexual predators after all,” Bonn said. “The jury had a moral obligation to society to convict Sandusky, and the only verdict that could restore public trust and equilibrium is guilty. I would have been shocked by any other verdict.”

Sentencing is expected to take place within 90 days.

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"Although we understand the task of healing is just beginning, today's verdict is an important milestone." (via Pete Thamel)

"The community owes a measure of gratitude to the jurors for their diligent service."

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and their families."

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Governor Corbett released a statement on the Sandusky guilty verdict.

First, I want to thank the jury for their willingness to serve on such a difficult case. I also want to commend the multiple victims in this case who had the courage to come forward and testify in court, confronting Sandusky, and proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of these reprehensible crimes.

The agents and prosecutors of the Attorney General’s Office, as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, also deserve a great deal of credit for today’s verdict. They pursued every lead, gathering evidence from multiple victims, in order to bring this man to justice.

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David Lohr in Bellefonte reports that Sandusky's lawyers are vowing to appeal.

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@ kevcirilli : AG LINDA KELLY: We have to continue to focus on child sexual abuse, to shine light on dark places of the Jerry #Sandusky's of the world.

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According to Anne Danahy of the Centre Daily Times, Joe Amendola said Jerry Sandusky disputed his adopted son Matt's allegations of inappropriate touching. Danahy also tweeted that the jurors decline to be available for comment.

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Penn State has released a statement on the Sandusky verdict:

The legal process has spoken and we have tremendous respect for the men who came forward to tell their stories publicly. No verdict can undo the pain and suffering caused by Mr. Sandusky, but we do hope this judgment helps the victims and their families along their path to healing.

The Board of Trustees and current administration maintain a steadfast commitment to pursuing the truth regarding Mr. Sandusky’s actions. While we cannot change what happened, we can and do accept the responsibility to take action on the societal issue of child sexual abuse—both in our community and beyond. The University is committed to ensuring that our campuses are safe for children and to being a constructive participant in building greater awareness of child sexual abuse and the practical steps that can be undertaken to prevent, report and respond to such abuse.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL STATEMENT

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According to Pete Thamel, Penn State will release a statement on the verdict in five or 10 minutes.

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@ PeteThamelNYT : Crowd goes bonkers when Amendola says it'll be a life sentence for Sandusky.

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@ sganim : Amendola was heckled when claiming #Sandusky is innocent at the steps of the courthouse

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@ AnneDanahy : Amendola says "the jury's spoken," but appeals still being considered

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From HuffPost Crime reporter David Lohr:

The verdict came fast, much faster than anyone was expecting. People began chanting when they heard "guilty." They chanted, "Justice!" Nobody seemed disappointed.

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The verdict of guilty on 45 of 48 charges was greeted by cheers outside of the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa.

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Jerry Sandusky is guilty of 45 of the 48 counts against him.

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Both Jeffrey Toobin and Sunny Hostin anticipate a guilty verdict. Marcia Clark also anticipates a conviction.

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More from David Lohr in Bellefonte:

We won't be able to get the word out quick. The judge issues a memorandum in which no media outlet is allowed to announce the verdict. Any journalist who breaks that rules is going to be subject to sanctions. We aren't sure what those sanctions are.

If they try to arrest me, I'm just going to say I'm Buck Wolf, my editor.

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@ DanWetzel : Sandusky enters court, takes seat at defense table without ever looking at his family

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From HuffPost Crime reporter David Lohr:

Sandusky just got here. The judge is going to call the court into session. Legal analysts tell me this is going to take about an hour. Each juror is going to have to verbally affirm their decision.

When Sandusky was walking in, one guy yelled, "Sandusky you suck!"

I would say there are close to 75 people in front of the courthouse, dozens of media outlets

Some people brought lawn chairs.

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There is no electronic transmissions permitted while court is in session and the 48 counts are being addressed. We'll find out at the very end and all at once.

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Court will reportedly convene at 9:50 for the verdict to be read.

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@ sganim : There is a verdict #SanduskyTrial

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@ cnnross : There sure are a lot of tweeps gearing up for a Friday night verdict. Hope the jurors don't disappoint. #hardtotell #Sandusky

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@ MinkNate : At 8:39 p.m., court announces jury deliberations continue. Smart money is on a Saturday spent in Bellefonte #Sandusky

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@ cvmikesisak : Court stenographer is in place. Not sure if this is a sign of anything. No updates from court officials yet. #sandusky

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@ PatriotNews : Pennsylvania attorney general Linda Kelly just arrived at Centre County Courthouse for Sandusky deliberations. #sandusky

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According to Nate Mink of StateCollege.com, Joe Amendola was talking to reporters inside the Centre County Courthouse. Per the report, Amendola said he would "die of a heart attack" if Jerry Sandusky is acquitted.

Judge Cleland reportedly asked to see him afterward.

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@ matthewkemeny : Court email: Jurors will be breaking for dinner from 6:30 to 7:30. #sandusky

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@ Minemyerchip : Judge asks to see #sandusky attorney Joe Amendola.

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Most recent update comes from Michael Sisak who tweeted that the jurors are ordering dinner and deliberations continue.

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