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Sandusky jurors pause to re-hear testimony about boy in shower

June 22, 2012|By Michael Muskal

Jurors in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse trial resumed their deliberations  on Friday after listening to testimony from one of the prosecution’s star witnesses -- and a defense witness who told of slightly different details.

The jury of seven women and five men entered the courtroom in Bellefonte, Pa., just before 9 a.m.  local time to start their second day of deliberations in the case against Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach. Jurors worked more than eight hours on Thursday.

Sandusky faces 48 criminal counts of abusing 10 boys during a 15-year period.

The jury listened closely as the testimony of Mike McQueary, a former graduate student and assistant football coach at the school, was read.

McQueary testified that he saw Sandusky and a boy, 10 to 12 years of age, in the shower at the school's football training facility. McQueary described what he said was a sex act being committed by Sandusky on the boy, who was facing a shower wall with his arms raised. McQueary told of seeing Sandusky’s midsection moving.

But a friend of McQueary, Dr. Jonathan Dranov, testified that McQueary talked to him that same night in 2001 and gave no such graphic description of what he saw. Dranov said McQueary said he heard sexual sounds, but did not describe a sex act.

McQueary, however, also testified that he hadn't told Dranov all that he saw.

The jurors also listened to a read-back of Dranov’s testimony. Dranov was on the stand for about 20 minutes when he testified this week and McQueary testified last week for about two hours.

While it is impossible to know why the jury asked for this specific re-read,   asking to hear McQueary’s and Dranov’s testimony suggests they are dealing with count 7 involving the boy identified as Victim 2.

The identity of the boy has never been ascertained, so he did not testify in person -- unlike eight other accusers in the case. The prosecution was relying on McQueary’s testimony to establish that a sex act took place.

During the evidence phase, however, the defense strongly argued that the prosecution had not made the case for a sex act against Victim 2 and sought to have that charge dropped. Judge John Cleland kept it, ruling the jury could make its own decision.

“I think there is sufficient circumstantial and direct evidence for the jury to assess what crime, if any, happened,” the judge said of the charge.

During the re-readings,  Sandusky paid close attention while his wife, Dottie, sat behind him, according to the Associated Press. It was the first time Dottie Sandusky, who testified for the defense, heard the testimony, because she wasn't present when the two men took the stand.

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Michael.muskal@latimes.com

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