Jerry Sandusky leaves the courthouse after closing arguments in his sexual… (Nabil K. Mark / Centre Daily…)
Jurors in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial will resume deliberations Friday morning after a roller-coaster day that included fiery summations and a claim by a son of the former Penn State assistant football coach that he too was abused.
The jury of seven women and five men will return to the courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., at 9 a.m., when they will rehear testimony from Mike McQueary, a former graduate assistant coach who said he saw Sandusky abusing a boy in the showers at Penn State’s football training facility. They will also rehear the testimony of the friend he talked to that night, Dr. Jonathan Dranov. Testifying as a defense witness, Dranov described a less graphic version that he said McQueary told him in 2001.
Judge John Cleland told the jurors that McQueary's testimony was about two hours long and Dranov's was about 20 minutes.
McQueary testified that he had returned to the locker room on a winter night in 2001 and saw Sandusky in the showers with a naked boy, about 10 to 12 years old. McQueary told jurors that he saw Sandusky directly behind the boy’s back, moving in a way that convinced him that a sex act was in progress. He said he heard the sound of skin slapping against skin.
Dranov, however, testified that McQueary gave no such graphic description that night, saying only that he heard sounds he considered sexual. The boy in the case has never been identified and is known in court papers only as Victim 2.
Hours after the jury was sequestered came the surprise claim of abuse on behalf of Matt Sandusky, 33, one of Jerry Sandusky’s six adopted children. Prosecutors and defense attorneys, who are under a gag order in the criminal proceeding, had no comment. The younger Sandusky is not among the youths involved in the criminal case.
Sandusky, 68, faces 48 criminal charges alleging that he abused 10 boys over 15 years. The former coach originally was charged with 52 counts, but Judge John Cleland dropped four charges, three on Thursday, before sending the jury to start deliberations shortly after 1 p.m.
The prosecution portrayed Sandusky as a predatory pedophile who groomed boys from the Second Mile charity with gifts and trips to football games -- no small gesture in an area enamored of Penn State’s football program. More than half of the jurors during the selection process said they had ties to the university, either as former students or employees.
After the gifts, prosecutors say, Sandusky escalated the relationships, in some cases fondling the boys, and in other cases forcing them to commit a variety of sex acts. Eight accusers testified that some of the attacks took place in the basement of the Sandusky home in State College, Pa., and others in the locker room showers at Penn State's football training facility.
Lawyers for the younger Sandusky triggered a media maelstrom by releasing the statement that he had been prepared to testify for the prosecution. It was unclear why he wasn't called, and the gag order made it impossible to find out.
“During the trial, Matt Sandusky contacted us and requested our advice and assistance in arranging a meeting with prosecutors to disclose for the first time in this case that he is a victim of Jerry Sandusky’s abuse,” the statement said.
“At Matt’s request, we immediately arranged a meeting between him and the prosecutors and investigators.”
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