Sandusky defense to begin calling witnesses Monday
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania (CNN) — Prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial are expected to rest their case when the trial resumes Monday, June 18th.
Judge John Cleland had indicated he expected the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to conclude its case Thursday after its final witness testified, but that didn’t happen.
Cleland adjourned the trial to Monday, when prosecutors are expected to take care of some routine evidentiary matters and then officially rest. Sandusky’s attorneys will then mount their defense of the former Penn State football team’s defensive coordinator.
Sandusky faces 52 counts tied to what prosecutors say was his systematic abuse of at least 10 boys over a span of 15 years. Now 68, Sandusky has been under house arrest in the days leading up to his trial. He has pleaded not guilty and has maintained his contact with children was not sexual.
The prosecution’s final witness Thursday refused to look at Sandusky when he pointed to him as asked minutes after telling jurors the former Penn State assistant football coach sodomized him and forced him to perform oral sex while he stayed in Sandusky’s basement during visits.
“I don’t want to look at him,” he said.
The sexual abuse occurred during a number of visits, the witness, now 18, testified. “There was no fighting against it.”
“Alleged Victim No. 9” said he screamed during one incident, hoping Sandusky’s wife might hear him from upstairs.
There was no answer.
“I think the basement is soundproof,” said Alleged Victim 9, becoming emotional during portions of his testimony. CNN generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
The accuser said he started going to the Sandusky home when he was about 12 and stopped going in 2009. He said he met the defendant a few years before while swimming at a summer camp sponsored by Second Mile, the charity founded by Sandusky. “He seemed nice,” the witness said of Sandusky.
Jurors earlier Thursday heard from two other accusers as well as a police officer and an investigator.
During testimony Thursday, Alleged Victim 9 said that Sandusky went from presenting gifts to hugging him and kissing him. He told his mother about it, saying Sandusky was a “touchy-feely type of person, that’s all.”
The physical contact escalated, the accuser said: “He started getting physical, had me touch his penis and stuff.”
The witness said he did not want to keep returning to the Sandusky home, but his mother wanted him to. The accuser was asked whether he told her about the alleged sexual contact.
“No,” the witness said. “How are you supposed to tell your mom these things?”
The accuser said he finally had enough in 2009 and asked his mother to pick him up from the Sandusky house. “I didn’t tell her why.”
He testified he didn’t discuss the matter with police until later, when his mother called them, and only told his entire story when he met with prosecutors.
Under cross-examination, the accuser said he and a friend went to a football game in autumn 2011, accompanied by Sandusky, because the friend had never been to a football game.
Earlier, a police officer testified that he investigated after a woman reported Sandusky had showered with her son in 1998. He said he felt charges should have been filed against Sandusky then, but prosecutors at the time did not agree.
Ronald Schreffler, a former Penn State police investigator who now works for the Department of Homeland Security, said he was among officers hiding in the woman’s home when she confronted Sandusky about her suspicions regarding inappropriate behavior with her son, identified as Alleged Victim 6.
He testified he heard Sandusky tell her: “I wish I could ask forgiveness. I know I can’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.”
Another witness, Alleged Victim 3, testified Thursday that Sandusky would touch him inappropriately during showers and overnight stays at the former Penn State coach’s home.
He testified that he was part of Second Mile and that he stayed overnight at Sandusky’s home “more than 50 times.” Sandusky often came downstairs where he was sleeping, he said.
“He would ask me why I would want to sleep with all my clothes on, so eventually I’d be stripped down to my underwear,” said the man, now 25. “He’d jump into bed with me, start tickling me, blowing on my stomach and pelvis. He would also, at times, touch my penis.”
Asked if he told Sandusky to stop, he said, “No. I was enjoying the things I was getting too much,” referencing trips to football games and favors from Sandusky. “He made me feel like I was part of something, like a family,” he said. “He gave me things that I had never had before. … I loved him.”
By 1999, as a 12-year-old, he testified, he was uncomfortable with the contact. “I would roll over (in bed) and try to get away from him,” he said. “That’s pretty much where it would stop; I wouldn’t let it go any further.”
Alleged Victim 6 testified about the 1998 incident, when he was 11, that triggered a police investigation. After working out with Sandusky at Penn State, he told jurors he recalled feeling uncomfortable while showering with Sandusky.
He said that when both were naked, he started to shower across the room from Sandusky. “I didn’t want to be right next to him in the shower. I felt really awkward with that situation.” But, he said, Sandusky told him to come over next to him, then began tickling him.
“I believe at one point he grabbed me from behind and gave me a big bear hug. … He said, ‘I’m going to squeeze your guts out.’ I remember seeing his chest hair right in my face, and thinking, ‘This is icky.’ “
He remembered Sandusky helped wash him and told him, ” ‘Let me help you with your back, where you can’t reach.’ … It was just escalating, the uncomfortableness of it.”
When he got home, he said he told his mother: “‘By the way, if you see my hair is wet, it’s because we took a shower,” adding, “She knew who I took a shower with. I told her bits and pieces, but not about everything that happened.”
His mother, he testified, called police.
CNN’s Laura Dolan, Dana Garrett and InSession’s Michael Christian contributed to this report.