Jerry Sandusky's sex abuse trial went to the jury today amid a bombshell revelation that his adopted son told prosecutors he was willing to testify against the former Penn State football coach.
Following seven hours of deliberations on 48 charges of sex abuse, the sequestered jury of seven women and five men has stopped discussing the case for the night and will resume deliberations on Friday morning.
The break came at the suggestion of Judge John Cleland after the jury requested to see the testimony of the state's key witness, Michael McQueary, and McQueary's family friend, Dr. John Dranov.
Earlier, as the jury met behind closed doors, Matt Sandusky -- who had defended the man who adopted him throughout the investigation -- issued a statement saying that he had been prepared to tell the jury that he had been sexually abused, too.
"Matt Sandusky, one of Jerry Sandusky's adopted children, asked us to confirm with you ... that he was prepared to testify truthfully as a commonwealth witness," said the statement issued by lawyers Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici.
"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. At Matt's request, we immediately arranged a meeting between him and the prosecutors and investigators," the statement said.
"This has been an extremely painful experience for Matt ... There will be no further comment at this time," the lawyers said.
Matt Sandusky is one of six children Jerry Sandusky and his wife adopted. He had been one of his father's staunchest supporters despite his birth mother Debra Long's testimony before a grand jury that her son was upset about staying with Sandusky. Matt Sandusky attempted suicide several months after moving in with Sandusky in 1995.
In addition, Matt Sandusky's wife got an order of protection on behalf of their children against the elder Sandusky.
Sources close to the case said that Matt Sandusky contacted prosecutors late last week to say that he was willing to testify. Prosecutors couldn't call him to the stand for direct questioning because he was not included in the charges against his father.
But they could have called Matt Sandusky to the stand as a rebuttal witness if Jerry Sandusky took the stand, sources said.
Lawyers for Jerry Sandusky said they were considering allowing him to testify up until the last day of testimony Wednesday.
Today, Cleland dispatched the jury to begin deliberating Sandusky's guilt or innocence after the closing arguments. If convicted of 48 counts of sex abuse against 10 boys, the former Penn State football coach, who is 68, could be sentenced to life in prison.
The jury will be sequestered during their deliberations and is expected to work through the weekend if they have not returned a verdict by Friday.
McQueary and Dranov, whose testimony the jury asked to review, both testified about an incident in 2001 when McQueary said he walked into the Penn State football locker room showers and saw former defensive coordinator Sandusky showering with a young boy in a position that seemed "extremely sexual."
The boy in question is known as Victim 2, though prosecutors were never able to find him and the jury did not hear from him.
McQueary's testimony was more than two hours long, prompting Judge Cleland to suggest that it was too long to begin reading back to the jury at the time of request, around 8:30 p.m. Dranov's testimony was only about 20 minutes long, Cleland noted.
The jury will be transported to a local hotel, where the jurors have been instructed to not watch television, use any telephones or computers, or speak about the case to one another. They are expected to be back in court at 9 a.m. Friday.