By The Associated Press
BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) — The judge overseeing Jerry Sandusky’s trial says it’s likely that defense lawyers will rest by Wednesday and that jurors could be deliberating the 51 child sex abuse charges against the former Penn State assistant football coach a day later.
Judge John Cleland told jurors of the tentative timeline after Sandusky’s legal team called three witnesses Wednesday. All three say he was an admired local figure because of his ties to Penn State and the outreach of his charity, The Second Mile.
Afterward, court was recessed for the day to deal with what Cleland called a “technical issue” involving other witnesses.
After the proceedings ended for the day, when asked if he would testify, Sandusky looked a reporter in the eye and said nothing.
Cleland also tells jurors they will be sequestered for deliberations.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
A former Penn State assistant coach who worked with Jerry Sandusky testified Monday that he and other members of the football staff were present when Sandusky brought young boys into the team’s showers.
Dick Anderson, the first witness called by the defense after prosecutors rested their case Monday, said he never witnessed anything inappropriate.
“If Jerry would bring someone in with The Second Mile, they had been working out, for whatever reason they came in, it was not uncommon … with the other coaches in the shower as well,” Anderson said.
Anderson also testified that it’s not unusual for him to be in the showers with younger boys at the YMCA.
Anderson took the stand after prosecutors presented their 21st, and final, witness, a woman whose son said Sandusky raped him in the basement of the coach’s home.
The woman said her son told her that Sandusky called him late one night after the first round of charges were filed in November, asking if he’d be a character witness. But the next month, prosecutors brought charges against Sandusky, alleging he’d had forced anal sex with the boy.
The woman said her son’s laundry would often be short of underwear and he would claim he had thrown it away because he had an accident. Last week, the teen said Sandusky forced him to have anal sex that made him bleed.
“I always wondered why he never had any underwear in the laundry,” she said. “There was never any underwear, any socks … that was odd to me.”
Also Monday, prosecutors withdrew one count against Sandusky, saying the statute he was charged under did not apply at the time of the alleged illegal contact.
That leaves 51 counts involving 10 alleged victims over a 15-year span. Sandusky, whose November arrest led to the ouster of Penn State’s president and the firing of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno, has denied wrongdoing.
During his testimony, Anderson said Sandusky had a “wonderful reputation” in the community.
“He was well thought of in every regard,” Anderson said.
He also testified about the busy schedule Penn State coaches kept.
In their questions to prosecution witnesses, the defense has sought to show how the stories of accusers have changed over time, that they were prodded and coached by investigators and prosecutors, that some are motivated to lie by the hopes of a civil lawsuit jackpot, and to paint Sandusky’s interactions with children as misunderstood and part of a lifelong effort to help, not victimize, them.
Defense attorney Joe Amendola pressed the accusers for dates and locations, details of their involvement with the kids’ charity Sandusky founded, arrests or drug problems, contacts they had with Sandusky in the years since the alleged abuse ended and the terms of representation deals with civil lawyers. At least six said they told incorrect or incomplete stories in early contacts with police, and three testified that some of the details only came back to them in recent years.