Bellefonte, Pa. • Jurors in Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse trial listened again Friday to testimony from a key prosecution witness against the former Penn State assistant football coach, then went back behind closed doors for a second day of deliberations.
The jury had talked for more than eight hours Thursday before adjourning at the end of a long session that featured dueling portrayals of Sandusky as a "predatory pedophile" or the victim of a conspiracy between investigators and his accusers.
They started their second day by rehearing testimony given by another Penn State assistant, Mike McQueary, about an unknown boy allegedly assaulted by Sandusky inside a football facility shower.
The jurors took copious notes, appearing to pay close attention to McQueary’s statement that he did not see penetration, but did see a boy pressed up against a wall with Sandusky behind him.
Jurors also reheard the testimony of a McQueary family friend, Jonathan Dranov, who said that McQueary told him a different version of the story that didn’t include the then-graduate assistant seeing sexual contact.
However, McQueary testified that he hadn’t told Dranov all that he saw.
As attorneys read the testimony from transcripts, Sandusky paid close attention while his wife, Dottie, sat behind him. It was the first time Dottie Sandusky heard the testimony, because she wasn’t present when the two men took the stand.
Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, using his charity for at-risk youth, The Second Mile, as a source of victims who would be dazzled by gifts, grateful for his attention and — perhaps most importantly — unlikely to speak up.
Sandusky has repeatedly denied the allegations. The defense portrayed him as the hapless victim of a conspiracy to convict him of heinous crimes. They explain the 48 charges against him as the result of an investigatory team out for blood and accusers who willingly played along in hopes of securing a big payday.
Shortly after the jury began deliberations Thursday, attorneys for Sandusky’s 33-year-old adopted son, Matt, dropped a bombshell, saying he’d been abused by the former coach and had been prepared to testify against him if called to the stand.
Sequestered during deliberations, the jury was under orders from Judge John Cleland to ponder only the case placed in their hands.
The jury heard from eight accusers who claim Sandusky engaging in sexual contact ranging from kissing and fondling to forced oral or anal sex.
One testified he felt at times like Sandusky’s son, at others his "girlfriend."
A second accuser — a foster child at the time authorities say he was abused — said Sandusky threatened he would never see his biological family again if he told anyone he was forced to perform sex acts but later took it back and claimed to love him.
One accuser testified to receiving what he called "creepy love letters" from Sandusky. "I know that I have made my share of mistakes," read one handwritten note. "However, I hope that I will be able to say that I cared. There has been love in my heart."
The defense said the longwinded letters were simply the manifestation of a personality disorder characterized by excessive emotionality and attention seeking.
Two people who prosecutors say were sexually abused by Sandusky haven’t been identified. McQueary’s testimony is the basis for charges involving one of those alleged victims.
It was also McQueary’s testimony that touched off the massive scandal that rocked Penn State and forced a re-examination of the role of college administrators in reporting abuse allegations.
Sandusky has denied the allegations, but did not testify in his own defense. Jurors are aware, however, of the denials he gave "Rock Center" just after his arrest. In it, Sandusky seemed to stumble at times and struggled to give direct answers to questions about his conduct.
Asked if he was sexually attracted to boys, Sandusky told NBC’s Bob Costas: "Sexually attracted, you know, I, I enjoy young people. I, I love to be around them. ... No, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys."
Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan III seized on that in closing arguments, saying: "I would think that the automatic response, if someone asks you if you’re a criminal, a pedophile, a child molester, or anything along those lines, would be: ‘You’re crazy. No. Are you nuts?’"Next Page >
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