Sandusky judge says jury could get case by Thursday

Friends of ex-coach testify to counter prosecution claims

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BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Friends and ex-colleagues of Jerry Sandusky testified Monday on behalf of the former Penn State assistant football coach as his defense sought to counter claims of prosecution witnesses that he sexually abused boys in the shower on Penn State’s campus.

The testimony came on what was a truncated day in a trial that has moved at a brisk pace since testimony began last week. Judge John Cleland told jurors that the defense could rest its case by Wednesday, which would mean closing arguments could come Thursday morning.

“This is all very tentative, you understand,” he told the 12 jurors and four alternates, adding that since they will be sequestered in a hotel while they deliberate they should “pack appropriately.”

It was still unclear how Mr. Sandusky’s defense team, led by attorney Joe Amendola, would proceed Tuesday. After the proceedings ended for the day, when asked if he would testify on his own behalf, Mr. Sandusky looked an Associated Press reporter in the eye and said nothing.

Judge Cleland told jurors of the possible timeline after three defense witnesses testified that Mr. Sandusky was an admired local figure because of his ties to Penn State and the outreach of the Second Mile, the charity for at-risk youth that the defendant founded in 1977.

Former Penn State assistant coach Dick Anderson, who worked with Mr. Sandusky for several years, testified that he and other members of the football staff were present when Mr. Sandusky brought young boys into the team’s showers.

He said he never witnessed anything inappropriate.

“If Jerry would bring someone in with the Second Mile, they had been working out, for whatever reason they came in, it was not uncommon … with the other coaches in the shower as well,” Mr. Anderson said.

Mr. Anderson, who coached at Penn State from 1970 to 1983 and again from 1990 to 2011, said adults and children often shower together at gyms. He noted, for example, that it’s not unusual for him to be in the showers with boys at the YMCA.

Mr. Anderson took the stand after prosecutors presented their 21st, and final, witness, a woman whose son said Mr. Sandusky raped him in the basement of the coach’s home.

The woman said her son, labeled Victim 9 in court records, told her that Mr. Sandusky called him late one night after the first round of charges were filed in November, asking if he’d be a character witness. But the next month, prosecutors brought charges against Mr. Sandusky, alleging he’d had forced anal sex with the boy.

The woman said her son’s laundry would often be short of underwear and he would claim he had thrown it away because he had an accident. Last week, the teen said Mr. Sandusky forced him to have anal sex that made him bleed.

“I always wondered why he never had any underwear in the laundry,” she said. “There was never any underwear, any socks … that was odd to me.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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