Jerry Sandusky opened his defense in his molestation trial Monday with character witnesses who defended his reputation, including a former Penn State coach who said he knew Sandusky took boys into showers but never saw him do anything wrong.
The six witnesses, one who called Sandusky a "local hero," did little to directly counter the testimony last week by eight young men who accused the former Penn State assistant football coach of sexually abusing them when they were children.
Judge John Cleland told jurors Sandusky's defense has about a day and a half left of testimony and that they could begin deliberations on the case as early as Thursday, a quicker schedule than had been expected.
Sandusky looked an Associated Press reporter in the eye and said nothing when asked if he planned to testify. Other possible defense witnesses to come include his 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.
Dick Anderson, a longtime Penn State assistant and Sandusky friend who retired in January, testified that he and other members of the football staff were present when Sandusky brought young boys into the team's showers.
He said he never witnessed anything inappropriate.
"If Jerry would bring someone in with The Second Mile, they had been working out, for whatever reason they came in, it was not uncommon with the other coaches in the shower as well," Anderson said, referring to the charity for at-risk children Sandusky founded in 1977.
Anderson, who coached at Penn State from 1970 to 1983 and again from 1990 through the 2011 season, said adults and children often shower together at gyms. He noted, for example, that it's not unusual for him to be in the showers with boys at the YMCA.
Earlier in the day, prosecutors told the judge they were dropping one of the 52 counts, that of felony unlawful contact with the accuser known as Victim 7. Prosecutor Frank Fina said the statute under which he was charged did not cover the time frame when the alleged act occurred.
Prosecutors rested their case after calling their 21st witness, the mother of so-called Victim 9, a recent high school graduate who testified last week that Sandusky raped him in the basement of the coach's suburban home.
The woman said her son told her that Sandusky called him late one night after the first round of charges was filed in November, asking if he would be a character witness.
"He said that Jerry asked him to make an affidavit or some kind of statement on what kind of character or person he was," she said. "Why would he call my kid after he's being accused of things like this?"