STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - It was artist Michael Pilato's latest step in erasing the image of the disgraced former assistant football coach following Sandusky's conviction last week on 45 counts at his child sex abuse trial.
Sandusky was removed from the mural days after his arrest in November. But Pilato returned to the work on Sunday, painting in Dora McQuaid, a Penn State graduate who is poet and advocate for domestic and sexual violence victims and issues. The blue ribbon was added on Monday.
Also replacing Sandusky were two red hand prints -- one belonging to Ann Van Kuren, one of the 12 jurors who convicted Sandusky and the other belonging to a sexual abuse victim. Meanwhile, as Sandusky insisted through a lawyer Monday that he was not guilty, Van Kuren said she hoped the verdict would help his accusers heal.
Van Kuren said the jury found compelling the testimony of the eight victims who took the witness stand, and they weighed the accounts and evidence diligently before finding Sandusky guilty last week of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years. She expressed empathy for the young men who offered emotional and explicit testimony.
"I really feel for the victims and any other victims that are out there that haven't come forward and told their" stories, Van Kuren told The Associated Press. "I'm hoping that this trial, with this verdict, will help them heal."
The university could also face a wave of new civil lawsuits. An hour after the verdict Friday night, Penn State said in a statement it was inviting victims to "participate in a program to facilitate the resolution of claims against the university arising out of Mr. Sandusky's conduct." The school said it sought to address victims' concerns privately, expeditiously and fairly.
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