Focus on Sandusky as abuse trial nears end
Updated at 8:14 a.m. ET
(CBS/AP) BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Jerry Sandusky might finally tell his side of the child molestation allegations in court Wednesday as the trial speeds toward a dramatic conclusion, perhaps as early as this weekend.
Sandusky has been expected to testify on his own behalf since late last week, sources told CBS News. But it's still unclear whether Sandusky will actually take the stand.
The defense will likely call its final witness Wednesday, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.
Judge John Cleland has said Sandusky's defense team could wrap up Wednesday, which would mean closing statements taking place Thursday and deliberations beginning that afternoon. The jury will be sequestered until it reaches a decision, Keteyian reports.
CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford, a former prosecutor, told "CBS This Morning" co-hosts Erica Hill and Charlie Rose Wednesday that there's been some disagreement among Sandusky's lawyers about whether he should testify."I wouldn't be surprised to see him taking the stand here," Ford said.
(Watch at left)
However, Ford said Tuesday's testimony from Sandusky's wife, Dottie, and a defense psychologist might sway the defense team toward having him not testify.
"After having heard his wife's testimony and the psychologist's testimony they might take a look at this and say, 'You know what? We got all the best we could get in here without the downside of him being on the stand,'" Ford said.
So far, defense attorneys have called on a parade of character witnesses and tried to discredit police investigators in trying to counter the graphic testimony of eight accusers. Dottie Sandusky has been their most notable witness to date. She smiled as she took the witness stand Tuesday to defend him against charges he sexually abused boys in their home and on Penn State's campus.
Dottie Sandusky said she remembered most but not all of the eight men who have accused her husband of abusing them as children. She told jurors she did not see him have inappropriate contact with them over the years they visited the couple's home or traveled with them.
In a calm voice, she described her 45-year marriage to the former Penn State assistant football coach, but lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan appeared to stump her when he asked why the men might lie in making the accusations.
"I don't know what it would be for," she said, with a slight shake of her head. Early on in her testimony, defense attorney Joseph Amendola, who typically questioned witnesses at the defense table, stood up to question her near the jury box which put her husband out of her direct sightline during most of her hour on the witness stand.
A large portion of the day's testimony, which included 11 more character witnesses, consisted of the defense psychologist, Elliott Atkins, who told jurors he believes Jerry Sandusky has a personality disorder that might explain letters addressed to one of his accusers.
Prosecutors countered with psychiatrist Dr. John Sebastian O'Brien II, who said that was not the case but that he might suffer from some other problem, possibly psychosexual disorder with a focus on pre-adolescents.
Sandusky is charged with dozens of criminal counts related to 10 boys over a 15-year span. He's accused of engaging in illegal sexual contact ranging from fondling to forced oral and anal sex, and he could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.
Dottie Sandusky has stood by her husband, posting his bail, accompanying him to court proceedings and in December issuing a statement that proclaimed his innocence and said that accusers were making up their stories.
Part of the defense strategy is clearly to show that the details of accusers' stories are wrong, but Dottie Sandusky was unable to say with much preciseness how often certain boys would stay in the couple's State College home. She said one of the boys, called Victim 10 in court records, she did not know at all.
She described Victim 1 as "clingy," Victim 9 as "a charmer" and Victim 4 as "very conniving, and he wanted his way and he didn't listen a whole lot."
Victim 9 testified last week that he was attacked by Jerry Sandusky in the basement of the ex-coach's home and cried out for help when Dottie Sandusky was upstairs. She, however, said the basement was not soundproof and she would have been able to hear shouting if she was upstairs.
Dottie Sandusky, who isn't charged in the case, also said the visiting boys were free to sleep upstairs if they wanted to do so. The accusers have said Jerry Sandusky directed them to the basement, where they allege he sometimes molested them.
Police handling of an initial interview with Victim 4 may have helped the defense. Now-retired Cpl. Joseph A. Leiter testified police "never told any of them what anyone else had ever told us" before jurors were played a tape of that interview, in which Leiter told Victim 4 that they had been told by others that oral sex and a rape had occurred. Leiter also said that "in some of our interviews ... we did" tell accusers that others had come forward.
"Each of these accusers was very, very seriously injured, and very concerned, and we had told them especially prior to going to the grand jury that they wouldn't be alone, that there were others," he said.
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