Jerry Sandusky Case May Go To Jury By Thursday

A week after it started, the Sandusky case is rapidly winding down and may end up in the jury’s hands by Thursday:

(Reuters) – Lawyers for Jerry Sandusky kicked off their side of the high-profile sex abuse trial with testimony from two former assistant football coaches who told jurors it was not unusual for grown men to shower with boys in the Penn State locker rooms.

Richard Anderson, who served on the school’s coaching staff over two different periods for more than 20 years before retiring at the end of last season, told the jury on Monday he had witnessed Sandusky in the Pennsylvania State University showers with children, but never saw anything inappropriate.

He testified that he, too, would shower with children.

Sandusky, 68, the former defensive coordinator for Pennsylvania State University’s successful football program, faces more than 50 counts of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, allegations that focused U.S. national attention on the issue of child sexual abuse and rocked the college sports world.

Judge John Cleland said on Monday the jury would be sequestered during deliberations and he expected closing arguments in the fast-paced trial to take place on Thursday.

Over several days of testimony, prosecutors sought to show Sandusky is a serial sexual predator who targeted boys through the Second Mile charity he founded in 1977 for underprivileged children. If convicted on all counts, Sandusky faces a sentence of more than 500 years in prison.

Accounts from the witnesses, now aged 18 to 28, of being victimized as young boys by a much older man, including oral sex and shared showers, at times brought them and jurors to tears.

The only real question left at this point is whether Sandusky takes the stand or not. It would seem to be an idiotic thing to do, but from the press descriptions it doesn’t seem like the defense has much to go on to begin with so they may decide to just throw a Hail Mary and see what happens. In any case, though, I find it hard to see how Sandusky isn’t convicted of the vast majority of the charges against him.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. legion says:

    The only real question left at this point is whether Sandusky takes the stand or not. It would seem to be an idiotic thing to do,

    It would be a completely idiotic thing to do. But Sandusky’s idiot lawyer explicitly promised the jury he’d put Sandusky on the stand in his own opening statement. From that standpoint, which would be worse – to put him up there for an absolutely unmerciful cross-examination, or keep him out & hope the prosecution doesn’t shove their faces in it in their own closing arguments?

  2. legion,

    Yea, I made note of that promise last week. I don’t understand why he would’ve said that because the decision on whether a defendant will testify is not something you can necessarily know the answer to before the trial starts. At this point, like you said, if he didn’t testify the jury is going to remember that promise whether or not the prosecutor mentions in closing.

  3. MstrB says:

    Pennsylvania Law helps Sandusky in 2 ways:

    1.) Trial judges are required to instruct jurors to factor in how long it took for victims to report their allegations of sex abuse to authorities, even though that time difference is known to have no relevance to the truth of their claims.

    2.) Expert testimony in sex assault cases is not permitted.


  4. Notwithstanding those two provisions of the law, so far the Sandusky defense has done little to effectively rebut the allegations against him.