Jerry Sandusky Lawyers Lean Toward Putting Him on Stand
Former Penn State coach could be final witness in his sex abuse trial.
BELLEFONTE, Pa. June 19, 2012— -- Jerry Sandusky's lawyers are leaning toward putting him on the stand in his own defense tomorrow, though the final decision has not yet been made, sources tell ABC News.
Sandusky would be called as the final witness for the defense, which is expected to rest its case on Wednesday. He is expected to deny that he ever had any sexual intent in his "horseplay" with the eight men who say they were sexually abused by him.
Prosecutor Joseph McGettigan, who has aggressively cross-examined defense witnesses this week, will have the opportunity to question Sandusky if they decide to put him on the stand.
Sandusky is charged with 51 counts of child sex abuse and could face life in prison if convicted.
His testimony could be a final chance for the defense, led by attorney Joseph Amendola, to place a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors. The case is expected to go to the jury of seven women and five men following closing arguments on Thursday.
Sandusky's legal team had its strongest day yet today countering the claims of the eight accusers as Sandusky's wife, Dottie, took the stand in his defense, and helped poke holes in the accounts of two lead investigators in the case against him.
A poised Dottie Sandusky testified that she never saw anything sexual occur between her husband and any of his accusers.
Mrs. Sandusky, who winked at her husband as she took the stand, said in a soft voice that they will have been married for 46 years in September.
In a patient grandmotherly style, she described most of her husband's accusers as "very nice," but remembered some as "conniving" and "very clingy."
Sandusky, 68, is charged with 51 counts of sex abuse of 10 boys.
Dottie Sandusky bluntly denied the accusation of one accuser who told the court last week that during the Alamo Bowl she walked in on her husband trying to force the boy, now known as Victim 4, to perform oral sex on him. He claimed she interrupted her husband by asking, "What's going on in there?"
Mrs. Sandusky's version was quite different.
"I came in one day. It was like a bathroom and dressing area. They were standing there. I said 'what's going on' because Jerry was very upset and we had asked (Victim 4) if he wanted to go to a luncheon which was $50, and he said he'd really like to go. And Jerry said OK, and it was the day of the luncheon and (Victim 4) wouldn't go and Jerry knew I'd be very upset about spending the money."
Dottie Sandusky told the court room that nothing seemed inappropriate about the exchange.
"They were just standing in little hallways, they were fully clothed," she said.
Dottie Sandusky also rejected repeated testimony by the alleged victims that Jerry Sandusky would molest them at night in the family basement, an area they said his wife never went.
Mrs. Sandusky told the jury today that she and her husband had always shared a bed and that her husband would usually go to bed first. She also testified that she would often go down to the basement to get food out of a freezer there.
In response to the allegation from Victim 10 that he once yelled for help while being sexually abused in the basement while Dottie Sandusky was upstairs, Amendola asked whether someone on the ground floor would be able to hear someone yelling from the basement. "Yes," she responded and added that her hearing was very good.
She also described Victim 4, who testified powerfully about the sex abuse he allegedly endured, as "demanding, and he was very conniving, and he wanted his way and didn't listen a whole lot."