Sandusky defense rests; ex-coach doesn’t testify
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania (CNN) — The defense team for Jerry Sandusky, accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, rested on Wednesday, June 20th without the former coach taking the stand.
Defense attorney Joe Amendola had told reporters earlier to “stay tuned” to see if the former Penn State defensive coordinator would testify. It was thought his testimony could provide the opening that prosecutors needed to introduce new evidence against the former coach.
In a segment that wasn’t included in NBC’s November 2011 broadcast of an interview with Sandusky, he told Bob Costas that he “didn’t go around seeking out every young person for sexual needs that I’ve helped.”
There are likely “many young people who would come forward and say that my methods and what I had done for them made a very positive impact on their life,” the ex-coach told Costas in the segment, which court observers thought prosecutors might want to introduce as new evidence in the case.
Sandusky, 68, is on trial on 51 counts related to accusations of child sex abuse.
After the defense rested, the prosecution said it had no further rebuttal witnesses, and the judge scheduled closing arguments to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The prosecution had called its only rebuttal witness on Tuesday, to counter testimony that raised questions about Sandusky’s mental health.
Dr. Elliot Atkins testified that he diagnosed Sandusky with histrionic personality disorder, a class of conditions called dramatic personality disorders, which are marked by unstable emotions and distorted self-images. But a second psychologist, prosecution witness Dr. John O’Brien, disputed those findings, saying that the “personality profile Mr. Sandusky exhibited was within normal limits.”
At least one trial observer had said there was good reason for the defense to call Sandusky to the stand.
Veteran criminal defense attorney Ron Kuby said Sandusky is facing a “tsunami of evidence against him,” and suggested that taking take the stand may be a way to help his case.
“Just maybe he can convince one juror to hold out,” Kuby said. “A hung jury, right now, is a lot better than life without parole.”
Prosecutors wrapped up their case Monday.