Skip to main content

Sandusky doesn't testify; defense rests

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:06 PM EDT, Wed June 20, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday
  • Defense calls acquaintance of former grad assistant Mike McQueary
  • He says McQueary didn't tell him he actually saw a sexual encounter, as he testified
  • At least 6 accusers spent the night in the Sandusky home, his wife testifies

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- The defense team for Jerry Sandusky rested on Wednesday without the former assistant football coach taking the stand.

Defense attorney Joe Amendola had told reporters earlier to "stay tuned" to see whether the former Penn State University defensive coordinator would testify. It was thought his testimony could provide the opening that prosecutors needed to introduce new evidence against the former coach.

Sandusky, 68, has pleaded not guilty to 51 counts related to accusations of child sex abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year period.

After the defense rested, the prosecution said it had no further rebuttal witnesses, and the judge scheduled closing arguments to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday.

The prosecution had called its only rebuttal witness on Tuesday, to counter testimony that raised questions about Sandusky's mental health.

Dr. Elliot Atkins testified that he diagnosed Sandusky with histrionic personality disorder, a class of conditions called dramatic personality disorders, which are marked by unstable emotions and distorted self-images. But a second psychologist, prosecution witness Dr. John O'Brien, disputed those findings, saying that the "personality profile Mr. Sandusky exhibited was within normal limits."

Following closing arguments on Thursday, the jury is expected to retire to begin deliberations.

At least one trial observer had said there was good reason for the defense to call the former coach to the stand. Veteran criminal defense attorney Ron Kuby said Sandusky is facing a "tsunami of evidence against him," and suggested that his taking the stand may be a way to help his case.

"Just maybe he can convince one juror to hold out," Kuby told CNN before the defense rested. "A hung jury, right now, is a lot better than life without parole."

However, some court observers had said that if Sandusky were to testify, prosecutors could potentially submit as new evidence a TV interview the ex-coach had with NBC sportscaster Bob Costas.

In a portion of the interview that was not part of the original November 2011 broadcast, Sandusky told Costas that he "didn't go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I've helped." There are likely "many young people who would come forward and say that my methods and what I had done for them made a very positive impact on their life," Sandusky said.

On Wednesday, the defense called Dr. Jonathan Dranov, an acquaintance of former graduate assistant Mike McQueary, who testified that he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy inside a university shower.

Dranov told jurors that McQueary told him he heard "sexual sounds" and saw the boy in the shower when an arm reached around him, but that he told him he did not actually see a sexual encounter. Sandusky then emerged from the shower area, he said.

That account is different from what McQueary testified. The former graduate assistant said he witnessed Sandusky pressing against the boy in the shower, and that it seemed obvious that he had been raping him.

Before Wednesday's testimony, one juror was dismissed and replaced on account of illness. Prosecutors wrapped up their case Monday after eight of the 10 alleged victims were called to the stand, among other witnesses.

All you need to know about allegations, how case unraveled

On Tuesday, Sandusky's wife told jurors that she could remember at least six of her husband's accusers staying overnight at their house, and said she did not witness any sexual abuse.

Dottie Sandusky recalled that one of the accusers had once traveled with them to a bowl game in San Antonio, Texas, where she and her husband shared a hotel room with the boy.

Many of the accusers testified that they knew Dottie Sandusky, who is not accused of having witnessed the alleged abuse.

She testified that children would often sleep at the Sanduskys' house and that "we would give them a choice of where they wanted to sleep."

Her husband also was the one to put the children to bed, typically, she said. She told jurors that "he would go downstairs and tell them good night."

The final prosecution witness testified Monday that her son seemed to suffer from stomach ailments during the times he was visiting Sandusky and sometimes did not want to visit the former Penn State assistant's home.

But she said she didn't ask him about any possible abuse and still does not know what happened to him.

What will jury do with Jerry Sandusky?
Sandusky's attorneys prepare their defense

"I didn't really want to hear," she said, crying.

The defense then opened its case with a former Penn State coach who testified about Sandusky's stellar reputation in the community.

Richard Anderson said it was not uncommon for coaches and youths to use the shower at the same time, and that he had never seen anything inappropriate between Sandusky and a child.

The defense called five other witnesses who supported the view of Sandusky's good reputation in the community.

"A lot of people lied," Amendola had said in his opening statement.

Over four days, several prosecution witnesses testified that Sandusky forced them to engage in sexual acts with him in various places, including showers in the Penn State coaches' locker room, hotel rooms and the basement of his home.

One told jurors that Sandusky -- whom he met, like many of the accusers, through the Second Mile nonprofit for disadvantaged youths that the ex-coach founded -- had threatened him if he told others about the abuse.

Another said Sandusky warned he might send him home from a trip to Texas, where they'd gone to watch a Penn State bowl game.

The defense challenged the accusers' timetable, questioning whether Sandusky could have committed the crimes they claim he did when they say he did.

On Monday, prosecutors dropped one of the 52 counts against Sandusky because the statute he was charged with wasn't in effect on the date of the alleged incident.

The accuser said the incident occurred in 1995 or 1996, but the unlawful contact with a minor statute didn't apply until 1997.

Sandusky defense: A 'smoking gun' and David fighting Goliath

CNN's Susan Candiotti, Dana Garrett, Laura Dolan and In Session's Michael Christian contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:03 PM EDT, Thu May 30, 2013
The family of Joe Paterno plans to file a lawsuit Thursday against the NCAA seeking to overturn its sanctions against Penn State University over a child sex abuse scandal.
updated 1:50 PM EDT, Fri October 12, 2012
When all was said and done, Jerry and Dottie Sandusky did not ask the judge for mercy. Instead, they depicted the boys he sexually assaulted as ungrateful and called them liars.
updated 11:28 AM EDT, Sat October 13, 2012
The young man locked eyes with Jerry Sandusky in a packed courtroom and stared him down. He'd waited a long time for this moment.
updated 11:47 AM EDT, Sun September 2, 2012
In many ways, football is life at Penn State, a tradition synonymous with the campus. Nittany Lion fans are deeply religious about their football. Now, they begin a new era.
updated 11:27 AM EDT, Sun September 2, 2012
New students began at PSU despite a scandal that has damaged the school's reputation and prompted an ongoing investigation into allegations of a coverup by top officials.
updated 1:55 PM EDT, Sat September 1, 2012
It's an old, old story. We've all placed people on pedestals, and then, almost inevitably, they let us down. They violate our trust. They betray us. They fall off the pedestal, or we remove them.
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Tue July 24, 2012
The NCAA announced a $60 million fine against Penn State University and stripped 14 seasons of football victories from the late head coach Joe Paterno.
updated 7:33 AM EDT, Fri July 13, 2012
The extensive internal review of the debacle at Penn State forever casts a shadow over Joe Paterno.
updated 11:13 PM EDT, Thu July 12, 2012
The most powerful former leaders at Penn State University have been accused of showing "total and consistent disregard" for child sex abuse victims.
updated 8:49 PM EDT, Mon July 9, 2012
In a year marred with controversy and national notoriety, Penn State University alumni and boosters finally have something to smile about.
updated 7:29 PM EDT, Tue June 26, 2012
With the same decision announced on count after count -- guilty, guilty, guilty -- Jerry Sandusky's emphatic denials he had sexually abused boys became obsolete.
Jerry Sandusky admitted showering with boys but denied the sex accusations. Here is what Sandusky has said publicly in the months before the trial.
updated 3:29 PM EDT, Sat June 23, 2012
Jerry Sandusky's writings in a 2000 memoir about the difficult relationship with his adopted son are similar to several letters he wrote to a boy now known as alleged victim No. 4.
updated 4:34 PM EDT, Sun June 17, 2012
The words came haltingly, punctuated by ragged sighs, groans and cracking voices as two teenage boys bared their darkest secrets to a packed courtroom.
Here's a look at some the key players and pertinent facts about the case and how it all unraveled.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT