Defense rests in Sandusky sex abuse trial without him testifying
(Note: explicit sexual content)
By Ian Simpson
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - The defense in Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse trial rested its case on Wednesday without calling the former Penn State University assistant football coach to the witness stand despite his lawyer previously saying he would testify.
An overflow crowd was present in the courtroom in anticipation of Sandusky's testimony but was left disappointed. The courtroom staff in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania had brought in extra chairs to accommodate the crowd.
Closing arguments in the closely watched trial were expected on Thursday, with jury deliberations due to begin afterward.
Sandusky, 68, is charged with 51 counts of abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He faces more than 500 years in prison if convicted on all counts. Defense attorney Joe Amendola previously had said Sandusky would testify.
Defendants are not required to testify. One expert said the decision to keep Sandusky off the witness stand weakened his defense.
"I think juries in a case like this expect to hear from the defendant," said Christopher Mallios, an adviser to AEquitas, a resource group for sex crimes prosecutors. "There are a lot of unanswered questions about these relationships that he can't explain that could hurt him."
Eight accusers, now men aged 18 to 28, testified for the prosecution last week, describing in often graphic detail being molested by Sandusky as boys, including oral and anal sex and shared showers. Two other alleged victims were never identified. Continued...