Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky, former Penn State University football defensive coordinator/AP
By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Jurors in the sex-abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky will continue deliberating Friday after prosecutors and defense lawyers made their final appeals Thursday to the panel of seven women and five men.
The jury deliberated for more than seven hours into the night Thursday before stopping. They were sequestered in a local hotel overnight.
Before breaking for the evening, jurors asked to review the testimony of key prosecution witness Michael McQueary, a Penn State assistant football coach, and McQueary family friend Jonathan Dranov. The two provided differing accounts of a 2001 incident in which McQueary testified that he saw Sandusky and a young boy in a university shower room engaged in what McQueary believed was sodomy. Dranov said McQueary's account to him did not include a sexual act.
As the jury was deliberating earlier Thursday, an attorney representing one of Sandusky's six adopted children said the son also was a victim of his father's abuse. Attorney Andrew Shubin issued a statement saying that Matt Sandusky sought him during the trial and "confirmed" that he also had been abused. Shubin stated that he and Matt Sandusky, now 33, met with prosecutors and that the younger Sandusky was prepared to testify for the prosecution.
He was not called as a witness. The Pennsylvania attorney general's office had no immediate comment.
In closing arguments, Sandusky attorney Joe Amendola said the charges against his client came from alleged victims who sought financial gain for their testimony and who were improperly coached by police investigators.
Prosecutors said Sandusky's attorneys had outlined a defense built on "a conspiracy that collapses under its own weight."
"It's not about seeking fame, fortune or money," lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan said. "This case is also about him."
In a voice barely audible in the courtroom, McGettigan concluded his closing argument saying: "I feel like I have 10 souls in my pocket."
He then marched to the defense table and stood beside the defendant.
"You can't give them back the pieces of the souls he took," McGettigan said, as two of the alleged victims watched from the front row. "Find him guilty of everything. Give him the justice he really deserves."
Earlier, Amendola assailed the credibility of his client's alleged victims, telling the jury that state investigators repeatedly coached them and others to provide damaging information against the former Penn State football coach.
Amendola seized on the alleged victim, identified in the grand jury report as Victim 1, who prompted the investigation nearly four years ago. He charged that the witness provided the most damning information against Sandusky only after he was prompted by investigators. He said the witness later hired a private attorney, as did five other alleged victims, in a bid to benefit financially in a future civil lawsuit against the defendant and the university.
Amendola said the initial witness started a "colossal chain of events" that led to Sandusky's arrest and trial.
Before closing arguments began, Judge John Cleland dismissed three of the 51 child sex-abuse charges against Sandusky. Cleland found one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and one count of aggravated indecent assault involving the accuser known as Victim 4 weren't supported by the evidence.
Another charge involving another boy was dismissed because Cleland said it duplicated another count.
Sandusky still faces 48 criminal counts involving 10 alleged victims.