Saturday, December 16, 2017

At Sandusky trial, old friends say showers with boys routine, harmless

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky's attorneys opened their client's defense Monday by calling to the stand two former coaching colleagues who said it was routine for adults and boys to shower together in large public locker rooms.

Richard Anderson, a college teammate and Penn State coaching colleague of Sandusky's, was the first to testify, and he vouched for the defendant's "wonderful" reputation. When asked by prosecutor Joseph McGettigan III whether he'd seen Sandusky showering with boys, Anderson answered, "Yes. I have also."

McGettigan seemed surprised by the response and asked Anderson a flurry of follow ups.

"Eleven-year-olds?" McGettigan said.

Yes, Anderson said.

"That you didn't know?'

"Yes."

Anderson said, "I do it all the time." He added, "There are regularly young boys at the YMCA showering at the same time that there are older people showering."

Sandusky, however, is accused of doing more than showering in the company of young boys. He's accused of molesting them. Prosecutors say the assaults occurred in Penn State facilities, in hotel rooms and at Sandusky's home and involved 10 boys over the course of 15 years. Sandusky has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The case is moving more rapidly than anyone had anticipated. Judge John Cleland originally predicted a three-week trial, but he surprised the packed courtroom early Monday afternoon by adjourning for the day, saying the defense would probably rest Wednesday and that the two sides could present closing arguments Thursday morning. The jury will have a long list of charges to sort through, but a verdict by the end of the week seems possible.

There has been much speculation that Sandusky's wife, Dottie, could testify in his defense. His attorney, Joseph Amendola, implied during opening statements last week that Sandusky himself would take the stand. And the defense has steadily suggested that the alleged victims have been inconsistent in their stories and may be motivated by the possibility of a big payout in civil suits.

But when the defense finally got its turn Monday, it presented only a few character witnesses who spoke in general terms about Sandusky's reputation.

"A lot of us were inspired by the way Jerry could relate to youth and get to their level," testified David Pasquinelli, a former consultant for the Second Mile, the charity Sandusky founded to help troubled kids.

The two coaches spent much of their time on the stand discussing showering habits in locker rooms. Anderson said he'd never seen Sandusky do anything inappropriate. That was echoed by Booker Brooks, who also coached alongside Sandusky at Penn State when both were assistants to the late Joe Paterno.

Sandusky is charged with 51 counts related to child sex abuse. Prosecutors dropped one charge Monday morning because of the statute of limitations.

The prosecution rested at 10:42 a.m. Monday after calling one last witness, the mother of "Victim 9," who testified Thursday that Sandusky had abused him repeatedly for four years during weekend sleepovers at Sandusky's house. (By the judge's order, the alleged victims have been identified in court by their full names, but media organizations are not doing so to protect their privacy.)

Comments
McCoy, David, Hargreaves all out Monday against Falcons

McCoy, David, Hargreaves all out Monday against Falcons

As if containing Julio Jones and the Falcons offense weren't challenging enough, the Bucs will try to so Monday night without perhaps their top two defensive players in DT Gerald McCoy and LB Lavonte David.Bucs coach Dirk Koetter on Saturday ruled bo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs’ Ward glad to be back, eager for rematch with brother Terron

Bucs’ Ward glad to be back, eager for rematch with brother Terron

Bucs safety T.J. Ward will make a healthy return Monday after missing two games with a concussion, and it's also a chance to face his brother Terron, a running back with the Falcons."Our whole family's going to be there, rooting us on," T.J. said aft...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Boys basketball: Lakewood 46, Gibbs 44

ST. PETERSBURG — Once the lights dimmed in the gymnasium and the capacity crowd dispersed, Lakewood coach Anthony Lawrence spotted Gibbs coach Larry Murphy strolling past the the bleachers."Hey, Murph. Do we have to do this every time?" Lawrenc...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Kitija Laksa’s 11 consecutive treys an NCAA record

Kitija Laksa’s 11 consecutive treys an NCAA record

Turns out, USF junior Kitija Laksa wasn't merely unconscious from behind the 3-point line Friday night, she was unprecedented.Laksa's 11 consecutive 3-pointers in the Bulls' 108-48 home romp of Southern University broke the NCAA's single-game record ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Massive California wildfire triggers new wave of evacuations

Massive California wildfire triggers new wave of evacuations

New evacuations were called on Saturday as surging winds drove an enormous wildfire toward this wealthy enclave in the coastal foothills northwest of Los Angeles
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Rutgers, behind Corey Sanders, tops No. 15 Seton Hall 71-65

Rutgers, behind Corey Sanders, tops No. 15 Seton Hall 71-65

Corey Sanders scores 22 points, leading Rutgers past No. 15 Seton Hall 71-65
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Inter's unbeaten start ends with 3-1 defeat to Udinese

Inter's unbeaten start ends with 3-1 defeat to Udinese

Inter Milan's undefeated start to the season was brought to an unlikely end with the Nerazzurri defeated 3-1 at home by Udinese
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Two airmen and an object that ‘accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen’

Two airmen and an object that ‘accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen’

The following recounts an incident in 2004 that advocates of research into UFOs have said is the kind of event worthy of more investigation and that was studied by a Pentagon program that investigated UFOs. Experts caution that Earthly explanations o...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Are UFOs real? A Pentagon program tried to find out

Are UFOs real? A Pentagon program tried to find out

WASHINGTON — In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find.Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.For years, the program investigated r...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
The Latest: New evacuations called for California wildfire

The Latest: New evacuations called for California wildfire

Santa Barbara County has issued new evacuation orders as a huge wildfire bears down on Montecito and other communities
Updated: 14 minutes ago