Jerry Sandusky Trial: Inside the charges and sentence he faces
(CBS) - The jury deliberating in the child sex abuse case against Jerry Sandusky has a big job. The people who have listened to nine days of testimony and arguments must wade through 48 counts of six different crimes allegedly committed against 10 young men over 15 years.
The former Penn State assistant football coach is accused of committing multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and attempted indecent assault.
Click here to see the charging documents listing each charge.
Crimesider spoke with legal expert Jules Epstein of Widener University School of Law in Delaware, who said that the most serious of the six crimes is involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI), a first-degree felony. In Pennsylvania, one count of that crime carries a 20 year maximum sentence, and if the crime is committed against a person under 16, there is a 10 year minimum sentence, according to Epstein.
Epstein said that in a sexual abuse case, multiple charges are common because by engaging in an activity such as oral sex with a child - which Sandusky is accused of - a defendant is committing two crimes at the same time, namely, IDSI (a felony) and corrupting a minor (a misdemeanor).
Sandusky is charged with nine counts of IDSI.
If Sandusky is found guilty of any of the crimes he is accused of, the judge will decide whether to impose his sentences concurrently or consecutively.
Epstein, who who has edited editions of "The Prosecution and Defense of Forcible Sex Crimes," said that judges typically consider several things when imposing sentence. First, they look at "general deterrence," meaning how the sentence will affect the community in terms of deterring others from engaging in similar crimes. Second, they'll consider incapacitation: does this defendant need to be locked away from society in order to keep them from committing the same crime again? If so, for how long?
Finally, there is the retributive aspect of sentencing - essentially, "do the crime, do the time."
"In a high-publicity case like this, often a separate consideration for the judge is, what message will I send to the community?" said Epstein. He points to the case of Bernie Madoff, who in March 2009 pleaded guilty to fraud and money-laundering related to a massive Ponzi scheme. The judge in that case sentenced the 71-year-old to the maximum 150 years.
"Part of that sentence was the judge saying I want everyone on Wall Street quaking in their boots," said Epstein.
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