ABC: Sandusky came close to testifying

June 20, 2012 at 5:20 PM
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BELLEFONTE, Pa., June 20 (UPI) -- Defense attorneys at first planned to put Jerry Sandusky on the stand but later felt they had raised enough doubts without him, sources told ABC News.

Sources told ABC defense attorneys were convinced they had to let Sandusky testify to prevent his conviction but changed their minds Wednesday just moments before closing their defense without testimony from the former Penn State assistant football coach, ABC said.

Sandusky, 68, is on trial in Bellefonte, Pa., charged with 52 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys during a span of 15 years.

Sources told the network the defense team made its decision in the wake of Tuesday testimony in which the two lead investigators in the case testified they had not shared specific allegations of sex abuse with potential victims during interviews but were shown to have done so during an accidentally recorded interview played for the jury.

The (State College) Centre Daily Times said the prosecution offered no rebuttal witnesses, and closing arguments were scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Senior Judge John Cleland heard from both defense attorneys and prosecutors behind closed doors after the defense rested but gave no public explanation for the non-public meetings, the report said.

The judge said no one will be permitted to enter or leave the courtroom during closing arguments and his charge to the jury to make sure jurors are not distracted.

Defense attorney Karl Rominger filed a motion to dismiss child sex abuse charges 36 to 40. The charges are linked to alleged victim No. 8 and an alleged shower incident in Penn State's Lasch Building that a janitor claimed to have witnessed, the newspaper said. Cleland said prosecutors can reply to the motion in writing.

Earlier, Jonathan Dranov, a McQueary family friend who was present when Mike McQueary described an encounter between Sandusky and a boy in a Penn State shower room, was among the final defense witnesses. He testified McQueary didn't give a description of what he saw, but only said he heard "sexual sounds," the Centre Daily Times reported.

Dranov said McQueary told him he made eye contact with the young boy, and an arm reached out and pulled the boy back, though McQueary has testified he never saw that.

The alleged attack was never reported directly to police, but McQueary said he reported it to administrators.

Dranov said McQueary was "visibly shaken," but when asked repeatedly what he saw, would just refer to the sounds, the report said.

McQueary testified last week he didn't see intercourse between Sandusky and a young boy in the shower room Feb. 9, 2001. But he said he was confident it was sexual and Sandusky's body was close to the boy's buttocks. McQueary also testified he heard "skin on skin smacking sounds" and saw the "extremely sexual" situation three times, once in a mirror and twice directly, the newspaper said.

A Lancaster County man, 21, testified Wednesday Sandusky never did anything inappropriate to him. David Hilton was called as a character witness.

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