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Jerry Sandusky Trial: Defense may accuse police of coaching "victims"

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, June 19, 2012. Sandusky is charged with 51 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a period of 15 years. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

(CBS/AP) BELLEFONTE, Pa. - The defense strategy in the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse trial may include going after the state attorney general's investigation into the scandal, charging that one reason the testimony of so many of the alleged victims appears to match up is that they have been coached by police detectives, according to CBS This Morning

Pictures: Child-sex scandal rocks Penn State

Sandusky is charged with 51 criminal counts related to 10 alleged victims - many of whom he met through The Second Mile, a charity he created - over a 15-year span. He's accused of engaging in illegal sexual contact ranging from fondling to forced oral and anal sex.

The first of today's defense witnesses was a mother of 14 children (including 5 adopted children) who said she has known Sandusky for 40 years. "All the people I knew who know Jerry think he's a wonderful man," she testified.

The defense called nine witnesses Tuesday morning, including one former Second Mile camper who said that the witness known as "Victim 4" was a "dishonest person" who "embellishes stories."

The witness praised Sandusky, saying "He was a very respected man in the community for helping children at Second Mile and for all the other activities he has done for the kids."

Prosecutors rested their case Monday after presenting 21 witnesses, including eight who said they had been assaulted by Sandusky. The identities of two other alleged victims are unknown to investigators.

Judge John Cleland said defense witnesses should be finished by mid-day Wednesday, and closing statements are expected Thursday morning.

Six witnesses spoke to Sandusky's reputation Monday but did little to directly counter the accusers' testimony.

Remaining possible defense witnesses include Sandusky's wife, Dottie, and an expert who could discuss whether Sandusky has "histrionic personality disorder," which experts have called a personality disorder characterized by inappropriate sexual behavior and erratic emotions.

The list of potential witnesses also includes a physician who spoke with key prosecution witness Mike McQueary the night he said he saw Sandusky attack a child in a football team shower in 2001, and members of former football coach Joe Paterno's family, although it was unclear how they might fit into the defense case or whether they will be called.

Tom Kline, a Philadelphia lawyer who represents one of the accusers, said he was served a defense subpoena on Monday, ordering him to produce a copy of the fee agreement he has made with Victim 5, along with copies of his interactions with reporters.

Sandusky's arrest led the university trustees to fire Paterno as coach in November, saying his response to the 2001 report from McQueary showed a lack of leadership. Paterno died of cancer in January.

Complete coverage of the Jerry Sandusky trial on CBSNews.com

  • Crimesider Staff

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