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SANDUSKY'S SON STEPS FORWARD

As the jury deliberates, the ex-coach's adopted child says he too was a victim.

New York Times

BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Hours after a jury began deliberating the child sexual abuse charges against Jerry Sandusky, lawyers for one of his adopted children said Thursday he had been abused by Sandusky and had offered to testify in the case.

"During the trial, Matt Sandusky contacted us and requested our advice and assistance in arranging a meeting with prosecutors to disclose for the first time in this case that he is a victim of Jerry Sandusky's abuse," lawyers Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici said in a statement. "At Matt's request, we immediately arranged a meeting between him and the prosecutors and investigators."

The statement gave no details and no indication why prosecutors did not call Matt Sandusky to testify, but it raises the possibility of new criminal charges against Jerry Sandusky, 68, a former Penn State assistant football coach, after this case concludes.

Matt Sandusky's lawyers did not return calls seeking comment. One of Jerry Sandusky's lawyers, Karl Rominger, declined to respond.

Matt Sandusky, 33, has been a peripheral presence in the case since it broke into public view last fall. He was involved in the Second Mile, the charity for troubled youths where, prosecutors said, Jerry Sandusky found his victims, and then, at about age 11, went to live with the Sanduskys, at first as a foster child.

After Jerry Sandusky's arrest, Matt Sandusky repeatedly denied being abused and accompanied the family in public shows of support.

Earlier Thursday, Sandusky's lead lawyer, Joseph Amendola, said in closing arguments the case against him defied common sense.

To convict Sandusky, "you have to believe he was the boldest perpetrator in history, taking these kids out, showering with them in front of other coaches," Amendola said. "It doesn't add up. It makes no sense, absolutely no sense."

He noted that young men who accused Sandusky of abusing them did not step forward until years after the suspected incidents, and he suggested they were goaded into making the accusations by one another, by law enforcement officials eager to find more victims, or by the promise of lawsuit payouts.

But a prosecutor, Joseph E. McGettigan III, said the defense was asking jurors to believe a far-fetched conspiracy theory. In a case with such strong evidence, he said, "you always have to accuse the victims, and you always have to allege a conspiracy."

For victims in such cases, he said, "humiliation, shame and fear equal silence," leading to years of evasions before the truth comes out.

McGettigan said Sandusky exhibited the classic behavior of a predatory pedophile, lavishing attention and gifts on troubled and neglected children and getting them accustomed to the abuser's touching before attempting any sexual contact.

The arguments and testimony in the case took nine days, and the jury must consider 48 charges; four others were dismissed. Judge John M. Cleland ordered the jury sequestered while it deliberates, and if there is no verdict by late today, deliberations will continue into the weekend.

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