Sandusky Trial: Jury Will Hear McQueary, Dranov Testimony Once Again Friday Morning
Updated at 9:33 p.m.
BELLEFONTE — No verdict was reached Thursday after more than eight hours of jury deliberations in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial.
Jurors summoned the court at 8:30 p.m. to address a question regarding Mike McQueary and Dr. Jonathan Dranov's testimony.
McQueary's testimony lasted about two hours, so the judge suggested they hold off until Friday morning because that would require playing a tape of the testimony or reading the transcript. Dranov's testimony lasted about 20 minutes.
Sandusky and his lead attorney, Joe Amendola, were not in court for the question.
Jurors finished deliberating the case Thursday night at 9:30 p.m.. Court is in recess until 9 a.m. Friday.
Updated at 1:14 p.m.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: This article contains graphic content)
BELLEFONTE — Lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan III rebuffed the defense’s claim Thursday afternoon that the whole Jerry Sandusky case is a conspiracy for alleged victims to gain financial benefits.
Instead, he mirrored his opening statements, saying Sandusky was a controlling man who preyed on boys and persuaded them to have sexual contact.
“If you conclude there’s a conspiracy, well, somebody better bring the handcuffs to me,” McGettigan said. He said whenever there's overwhelming evidence, such as this case, the defense will: deny what they can, admit what they can, call everyone a liar and allege a conspiracy.
Now, the 48 counts Sandusky faces are in the hands of the jury, who will deliberate in Courtroom 2 of the Centre County Courthouse, where they will have much to think about.
McGettigan once again flashed headshots of the eight known alleged victims in the case onto a screen, reminding jurors this case is about them.
He also reminded them this case is about Sandusky, and posed the question of why the defense never asked a question about any of the specific crimes.
He outlined that each witness may have a different response to taking the stand and highlighted alleged victim Nos. 1 and 9, two of the youngest, had some of the most difficult times talking about the alleged abuse.
McGettigan layed out a predatory pattern that simply started with touching — hugging, squeezing — and progressed to the touching of the genitals, the touching of the genitals until there’s an erection and, ultimately, oral and anal sex.
“[Sandusky] thinks these are relationships,” McGettigan said.
McGettigan asserted Sandusky used his stature in the community and through his charity, The Second Mile, to gain access to public places where he could abuse his victims.
He reminded jurors he had a difficult job to do at the onset of the trial.
“I asked you to forgive me for things I was going to do at the start of the trial,” McGettigan said. “It was something that had to be done. Do you think for a minute those young men didn’t know what was gonna happen?
“They knew they were gonna be called liars because I told them. I told them what was going to happen. And I’ll live with that. As will they.”
McGettigan posed the question of what motive Mike McQueary had for lying about a 2001 shower incident in the Lasch Football Building, especially since it cost him his job.
He also shot back at Amendola’s claim that Sandusky sounded awkward during the infamous TV interview with Bob Costas because he was nervous.
“I would think the automatic response if you’re accused of being a child molester is, ‘You’re crazy!’ ”
To close, McGettigan moved away from the jury box and toward Sandusky.
His final words, the last words before the jury would leave to decide Sandusky's fate?
"He knows he did it, and you know he did it. Give him the justice he really deserves."
Updated at 11:28 a.m.
BELLEFONTE — Joe Amendola lit into the credibility of his client’s accusers and questioned the motive of law enforcement officials handling the investigation during closing arguments Thursday.
He said alleged victim No. 1, the first to come forward with allegations, set off the colossal chain of events that resulted in 48 charges in a child sex abuse case and the downfall of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and the university president, Graham Spanier.
Amendola pinned the entire investigation on alleged victim No. 1, saying he exaggerated claims of sexual abuse because he would’ve rather hung out with friends than Sandusky. Upon telling his mother, Amendola asserts, the whole thing turned into a ploy to gain financial benefits from Sandusky.
Once the first accuser came forward, Amendola argued, police handling the investigation stopped at nothing to collect more accusers to build its case against the former Penn State assistant football coach.
“We believe there was a push when [alleged victim No. 1] came forward,” Amendola said. “This is a public figure. Let’s see if we can get more kids. Let’s see if we can move forward.”
Added Amendola: “If he’s such a monster, why didn’t they arrest him in 2008? “They didn’t feel comfortable charging him until they had enough.”
Amendola blitzed the two state police officers that interviewed alleged victim No. 4, who had not detailed the extent of the alleged sexual abuse before he asked to take a break.
They recorded the interview, however once the accuser left the room, the officers forget to stop the recording and discussed their investigation with the accuser’s attorney.
One officer, corporal Joseph Leiter, told the man's attorney, Ben Andreozzi, about incidents involving other alleged victims.
Here’s how the conversation transpired, which was played to the court earlier this week during the defense’s case.
“Oh, you're kidding, the time frame matches up?" Andreozzi said. "Can we at some point say to him, 'Listen, we have interviewed other kids, other kids have admitted that there was intercourse. Is there anything else you want to tell us?' "
Amendola reminded the jury what Leiter said when alleged victim No. 4 returned: “We need you to tell us this is what happened. We need you to tell us. We need you to tell us he had oral sex with you he did these horrible things. We need you to tell us as graphically as you can.
“What is Corporal Leiter saying?” Amendola asked the jury. “You have to come to that conclusion.”
Amendola also played up the fact many of the alleged victims knew each other and said they were abused around the same time period. However he questioned how that would be possible with the schedule Sandusky kept from being an assistant football coach through the late 90s.
The defense’s lead attorney also refuted two of the more high-profile incidents in the case — one being the alleged sexual abuse in the shower with alleged victim No. 6 that launched the 1998 Penn State Police investigation that yielded no charges.
The other: the infamous 2001 Lasch Football Building shower incident involving Mike McQueary. Amendola tried to convince the jury that McQueary simply jumped to conclusions about what he saw, since he never explicitly saw penetration.
Amendola also gave the jury a peek inside his client’s mind during the infamous interview with Bob Costas.
The lawyer read parts of the transcript, including Sandusky’s jumbled answer about whether or not he’s sexually attracted to young boys.
Amendola said Sandusky was extremely nervous during the interview because of the mass media attention the allegations received.
Prosecutors will present their closing arguments next. During opening statements last week, they painted Sandusky as a serial rapist who took advantage of young boys from his charity, The Second Mile.
Earlier at 9:51 a.m.
BELLEFONTE — Jerry Sandusky's attorney, Joe Amendola, will make his closing arguments first, judge John Cleland said Thursday morning. It’s expected to last 60-90 minutes.
Sandusky is left with 48 charges in a child sex abuse case after Cleland dismissed two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse related to alleged victim No. 4 because the charges did not match up with what testimony revealed.
The third count dismissed, he said, was the same as another.
Cleland also said the hearsay evidence regarding alleged victim No. 8 is not sufficient for the jury to make a conviction. But circumstantial evidence outside of a janitor’s statement to a co-worker can be enough for a conviction.
The janitor, Jim Calhoun, who was not able to testify because he suffers from dementia, told Ronald Petrosky he saw Sandusky sexually molesting a young boy in the showers.
Before closing arguments, Cleland mapped out guidelines for how the jury should deliberate.
It’s not a crime for a man to shower with a boy, Cleland said. It’s not a crime to wash a boy’s hair or lather his back and shoulders or engage in back rubbing and back cracking.
“Poor judgment does not in and of itself amount to criminality,” the judge said.
Rather, the intent of the contact is what matters. There has to be sexual intent, he said.
“It is the defendant’s intent, not the child’s reaction, that determines if a crime was committed,” Cleland said, before adding that gauging the credibility of the alleged victims’ testimony is a key aspect to the case.
Furthermore, Cleland reminded jurors a doctor’s diagnosis that Sandusky suffers from histrionic personality disorder, can only be considered an alternative explanation for why Sandusky wrote letters to his alleged victims. It cannot be used as a defense regarding his alleged criminal action.
The prosecution's closing argument will follow the defense's, meaning the jury may start deliberating a verdict this afternoon.