Prosecution Case In Sandusky Trial Already Nearing The End

The sex abuse trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky is moving quite rapidly, and is on a pace that could bring the prosecution’s case to an end by the end of this week:

(CBS/AP) BELLEFONTE, Pa. – Prosecutors appear to be winding down their case against Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach charged with abusing 10 boys over a 15-year span.

Judge John Cleland said the prosecution could rest by the end of the day on Friday. Five of Sandusky’s accusers have now testified, including three on Wednesday. Sandusky has maintained his innocence.

On Wednesday, one of his accusers said he stayed quiet to keep going to Penn State football games.

Another man, who was a foster child when he met Sandusky through his Second Mile charity, spoke of a threat — that Sandusky told him he would never see his family again if he told anyone what happened.

Those were among the ways Sandusky held sway following alleged inappropriate encounters, the two men testified Wednesday at his child molestation trial.

“He told me that if I ever told anyone that I’d never see my family again,” said the man, now 25. He said he was terrified when Sandusky uttered the threat after the coach pinned him while wrestling in the basement of the Sandusky home and performed oral sex on him.

There’s more at the link, including more testimony I really don’t feel the need to repeat here. I haven’t been following the case closely, but it’s been apparent that the victim testimony has been quite devastating. At one point, when the person identified as Victim #1 was testifying and began choking back tears, reporters said several of the jurors could be seen doing the same thing.  If this pace picks up, Sandusky’s defense should start next week, although I’m honestly unsure what defense they could mount at this point, especially since his attorneys have apparently not been very aggressive in cross-examining the victims and have done little to attempt to undermine their credibility.   Sandusky’s fate seems to be headed in a rather obvious direction at this point.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, Sports
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. J-Dub says:
  2. Chad S says:

    Never underestimate how dumb a jury can be.

  3. Rick Almeida says:

    Hey Doug,

    Could it be possible that Sandusky’s lawyers are leaving room for an appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel?

  4. @Rick Almeida:

    The standard for Ineffective Assistance is pretty high (or is that low?) and if the Judge thought for a minute that they were deliberately throwing the case to set the appeal up, I’m sure he’d take some action because I’ve seen it happen before.

    The more likely explanation is that they don’t have much of a defense but they’ve also got a Defendant who refuses to plead guilty. The lead defense counsel said in his opening that Sandusky would be testifying in his defense, which pretty much any lawyer would advise him against doing BUT if the client wants to testify notwithstanding the attorney’s advise that is his call to make, not the lawyers.

  5. mattb says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The standard for Ineffective Assistance is pretty high (or is that low?) and if the Judge thought for a minute that they were deliberately throwing the case to set the appeal up, I’m sure he’d take some action because I’ve seen it happen before.

    Just wanted to second this. As an outside observer (IANAL) who knows more than a bit about the appeals process, Ineffective Assistance is a VERY High/Low bar. And even in cases where it’s clear that council was ineffective, the question is always whether or not that ineffectiveness actually had an effect on the overall outcome.

  6. Nikki says:

    Let the civil suits begin. The university is going to pay out the wazoo, especially with the head dude admitting that they were more concerned with protecting Sandusky than protecting the kids.

  7. The civil suits are going to take years to make their way through the court system. Quite honestly, I’m sure PSU’s various insurers are already talking amongst themselves about settlements.

  8. It’s possible that the lawyers have “runaway client” here. Sandusky seems to be heavily in denial about his situation, and ultimately if he ignores counsel and demands a particular defense, the lawyers have to present it, even if they know it’s doomed to failure.