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Jerry Sandusky trial: Prosecution rests as defense begins

June 18, 2012|By Michael Muskal

The prosecution in the child sex-abuse case against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky rested on Monday, turning the proceedings over to the defense.

For its first witness, the defense called former Penn State assistant coach Dick Anderson.

Before the prosecution formally ended its presentation,  one of the charges against Sandusky — relating to Victim 7 — was dropped. It was thrown out  because the state statute did not apply in the years the witness said he was abused. Three other abuse charges involving Victim 7 remain.

PHOTOS: Who's who in the Sandusky case

Sandusky is now accused of 51 — instead of 52 — criminal counts alleging he abused 10 boys over 15 years. If convicted on all the charges, the former coach could be sentenced to hundreds of years in prison.

Also on Monday, Judge John Cleland rejected a defense motion to dismiss the charges involving Victim 2 and Victim 8. The identities of the two alleged victims have never been ascertained by the prosecution. In both cases, adults testified that they saw or heard of the incidents of abuse.

Victim 2 is the child, between 10 and 12, whom former graduate assistant Mike McQueary testified he saw in the shower with Sandusky in 2001. McQueary’s testimony is one of the pillars of the prosecution case that also includes direct testimony from eight boys who said they were abused.

Victim 8 is the case in which a janitor saw Sandusky commit a sex act on a boy 11 to 13 years old. The janitor now has dementia and is unable to testify but another adult described what he was told by the janitor at the time.

In its bid, the defense argued that the prosecution couldn’t supply a single date for the alleged abuses, making it impossible for Sandusky to establish an alibi. It also questioned how the adults could know the children were less than 16 years old, the cutoff age for some of the charges.

The prosecution replied that the dates for certain crimes are not an issue and that adults can tell the difference between a person older and younger than 16.

In backing the prosecution, Cleland also said it will be up the jury to decide whether McQueary actually saw an act of sodomy. “I think there is sufficient circumstantial and direct evidence for the jury to assess what crime, if any, happened,” the judge said, according to media reports from the courtroom.

Before resting, the prosecution called the mother of one of Sandusky's alleged victims. She testified that her son's underwear was frequently missing from the laundry and that he claimed he'd thrown it away because he had an accident.

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michael.muskal@latimes.com

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