BELLEFONTE (KDKA) — After about seven hours of deliberation, the jury in the child sexual abuse trial of Jerry Sandusky has retired for the night.
After resuming deliberations following a dinner break, they had questions for the judge.
The jury asked the judge to review the testimony of Mike McQueary and Dr. Jonathan Dranov. He told them McQueary’s testimony lasts about two hours and Dranov’s lasts about 20 minutes.
McQueary testified he saw Sandusky and a young boy in a shower at the Lasch building wherein the boy’s hands were against the shower wall and Sandusky was behind him closely.
Dr. Dranov testified that when McQueary related the story to him, he was visibly shaken but he reported hearing “sexual sounds” and seeing the boy eye to eye then seeing the boy pulled away, then seeing Sandusky leave the shower.
Judge Cleland suggested they return in the morning so that arrangements can be made for the testimony to be either read back in transcript form or played back to them on tape.
Court will resume on the McQueary issue at 9 a.m. Friday.
Closing arguments were held this morning and a long line formed this morning just to get into the courthouse.
The judge decided to give instruction in the law first.
Judge John Cleland’s instruction to jury: “It is not necessarily a crime to take a shower with a boy. It is not necessarily a crime to wash his back or hair. It is not a crime just because a child feels uncomfortable. But you have to distinguish between an act of family affection from an act of lust.”
The defense then presented their closing statements.
The closing argument of defense attorney Joe Amendola:
“[Victim 1] started the chain reaction. They kept prompting him. They kept meeting with him and he says when this is over I’m going to have a nice car. Is that the reaction of a child who was abused?”
“Could all this sex be going on and Dottie not see or hear anything? It doesn’t add up.”
“He’s 68. These charges go back to the mid 1990’s. After all these years of working with kids, he decides in his mid fifties to become a pedophile ? Does that make any sense?”
“Coach Paterno was fired just before he was going to retire. This was a three year investigation. They could have arrested him in 2008 if they thought he was such a monster.”
The prosecution began their closing arguments at 11:45 a.m. Some of the alleged victims came to court and listened to the prosecutor’s closing argument.
Closing arguments from Prosecutor Joseph McGettigan:
“He knows he did it. And you know he did it. Give him the justice he really deserves and find him guilty of everything.
“Mr. Amendola would have you believe there was this giant drive to punish or get this person. If you conclude there is a conspiracy then someone bring handcuffs for me and everyone else.”
“Yes they got attorneys. Who else got an attorney? Sandusky got an attorney long before he was charged with anything.”
The jury began deliberations around 1 p.m.
Some of the exhibits have been on display for reporters to examine more closely.
KDKA-TV’s Harold Hayes viewed a letter purportedly from Sandusky to alleged Victim 4, which reads in part: “Joe knows that there will always be something special inside [Victim 4]. Hope that it will last… return if it has left…”
The prosecution called this one of the so-called love letters hoping to regain a spurned relationship.
Sandusky is facing 48 counts of child sexual abuse. Counts 16, 18 and 19 have been dropped. Count 33 was dropped earlier.
The defense attorneys rested their case late Wednesday morning without putting the former Penn State assistant football coach on the stand.
One of the final witnesses for the defense was a young man who spent time with Sandusky through The Second Mile charity and was repeatedly interviewed by police.
Centre County criminal defense attorney Matt McLenahen has been watching the case closely. He says it is unlikely Sandusky will be convicted on all counts, but does not expect an acquittal.
The judge has said he will allow the jury to work through the weekend if no verdict is reached before then. They will be sequestered during their deliberations.