Judge Drops 3 Counts In Jerry Sandusky Sex Abuse Trial
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky watched on Thursday as the judge overseeing his case dropped 3 of the 51 child sex abuse charges brought against him.
Judge John Cleland dropped one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and one count of aggravated indecent assault brought about by Victim 4 because there was insufficient evidence to support those claims. Judge Cleland also dropped one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse involving another victim because it duplicated an already listed count.
The judge said he had to dismiss two counts because the victims say Sandusky tried to penetrate them but they never actually said he succeeded.
Jurors will now hear closing arguments on Thursday morning and they could start deliberations by the afternoon.
Jerry Sandusky was charged with attacking 10 boys over a 15 year period, attacks that occurred in hotel rooms, inside his own home and even in the football team’s showers.
The defense has claimed the entire time that alleged victims were simply attempting to make money off the case and that police investigators coached the now young men into their statements.
Before the start of Thursday’s proceedings Judge Cleland instructed the 12 jurors and three alternates after which point the prosecution and defense would begin their closing arguments.
Each juror will receive a list at the conclusion of closing statements which shows each accuser and the crimes committed against them. Jurors will then have questions they must answer as they reach a verdict.
Judge Cleland told the jurors:
“We make few decisions in life that are free from all doubt. You must be convinced to the same degree that you would act in a matter of your own life.”
The judge added:
“You may believe he exercised poor judgment, but poor judgment in itself does not warrant criminality.”
The judge also noted:
“It is not necessarily a crime to shower with a boy, lather with soap, engage in back rubbing.”
While the prosecution called on 22 witnesses to paint Jerry Sandusky as a calculated animal who raped young men over a 15 year period, the defense called 28 witnesses to testify on behalf of his character and reputation, including his work as a charity organizer who helped under-privileged youth.