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Defense begins in Sandusky trial

June 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM   |   Comments

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BELLFONTE, Pa., June 18 (UPI) -- The first defense witnesses in the trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky Monday offered affirmations of his character.

Retired assistant coach Dick Anderson testified Sandusky "had a wonderful reputation in the community," the State College (Pa.) Centre Daily Times reported. Former assistant coach Booker Brooks referred to Sandusky as "a great guy," and Clinon Mettler, a participant in Sandusky's charity The Second Mile, said he had great experiences in its summer camps and returned later as a camp counselor.

Sandusky is accused of 52 counts of child sex abuse.

Anderson told defense attorney Joe Amendola it was common, in the coaching profession, to shower around young people. He said he had seen Sandusky in the shower with young boys, but witnessed no inappropriate behavior, the newspaper said.

The prosecution rested Monday morning after it called its final witness, the mother of the person known as "Victim No. 9" who testified last week Sandusky engaged in anal sex with him several times during their four-year relationship, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday. She said she encouraged the relationship between Sandusky and her son, who was about 12 or 13 when it began, but admitted she did not ask about it, even when her son's underwear began disappearing from the family laundry, because "I didn't want to hear."

Judge John M. Cleland dismissed one charge after the prosecution rested, that of one felony count of unlawful contact with minors, the Centre Daily Times reported. Prosecutor Frank Fina said the decision to drop the charge came after Wednesday's testimony of alleged "Victim No. 7," now 27-year-old man, who described alleged physical contact between Sandusky and himself in the showers of Penn State's athletic facilities and at Sandusky's home when the alleged victim was 10 or 11 years old.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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