By Natalie DiBlasio, USA TODAY
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - All of the five TVs in Bill Pickle's Tap Room are tuned into the news. The verdict is in for the former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.
The streets are quiet. It is the end of the first summer session at Penn State and the school year hubbub of the Big Ten University has waned, but the tap room is packed.
"Turn it off! Audio!" The whole bar screams at the bartenders, insisting they turn off the music and turn up the volume on the TVs.
The bar erupts in cheers as they announce former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty on 45 of 48 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 victims.
The case rattled the Penn State community starting last November and led to the firing of a Penn State icon - long-time head football coach Joe Paterno.
The jury deliberated for two days before reaching the verdict late Friday night. Eight of the alleged victims testified during the seven-day trial providing often wrenching accounts of abuse, ranging from fondling to forced oral sex and sodomy.
"Everything that this man has put the community, college and especially the victims through - I think any other verdict would be unfathomable," says alumna Audrey Leonard, 22, from Oakton, Va.
A few whoops and hollers break out at the sight of Sandusky in handcuffs. Then they begin to do what they had been looking forward to for months - moving on.
"Now I guess we can definitely move on," said Penn State student Sika Abbey, 21, of State College. "This is a step closer to Happy Valley being happy again ... It's just a great day for State College, for Penn State students and the whole entire Penn State community."
The university issued a statement Friday night once the verdict was announced.
"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 statement read.
Alumnus Nick McLain, 22, of New York, calls the verdict "justice," and says he looks forward to the close-knit Penn State community moving forward.
"This verdict is something that the Penn State community and the State College community have been waiting for since November," says McLain. "It's the verdict that everybody should have waited for."
Sandusky will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Penn State graduate Thomas Wardrop, 22, said: "For both Penn State and State College it's important to have closure to an event that brought so much negative light."
"Now that we have reached this step," he said, "we can begin to address the issues that preceded this and build upon it both as a college and a community to improve and make sure that things like these don't happen again."