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As Sandusky remains silent, the defense rests

Jerry Sandusky has chosen to remain silent.

After much anticipation that the former Penn State assistant football coach would directly address the child sex-abuse charges against him, his lead attorney, Joe Amendola, faced Judge John M. Cleland on Wednesday and said, "Your honor, at this time the defense rests."

The prosecution also rested. Such was the anticlimactic end of testimony in the Sandusky trial. Sandusky's voice has been heard by the jury only in an excerpt of the interview he gave to Bob Costas of NBC last fall, shortly after he was arrested.

Closing arguments are scheduled for this morning. The judge will then give his instructions to the seven women and five men of the jury, all of them residents of Centre County. They'll be sequestered during deliberations, which will be complicated by the sheer number of allegations against Sandusky.

Attorneys for Sandusky would not speak with reporters after the morning session. Some members of the audience were upset that Sandusky didn't testify.

"I just wanted to see him try to defend himself. I was very disappointed," said Constance Boland, a school guidance counselor who had regularly referred troubled kids to the Second Mile, the Sandusky-founded charity that prosecutors say became his supply line for young boys that he abused.

Boland arrived at the courthouse here at 3:30 a.m. to make sure she got one of the seats.

Tom Kline, an attorney for one of the accusers of Sandusky, told reporters afterward that Sandusky's silence means the defense offered "no direct refutation" of the charges leveled by eight alleged victims who testified last week.

"While a defendant has the right to remain silent, the pregnant question in this case is whether exercising that right is going to bring him a courtroom acquittal," Kline said.

Sandusky's legal team chose a strategy of trying to chip away at the credibility of certain witnesses and suggesting that they were coached by investigators and may be hoping for a payout in civil litigation still to come.

Wednesday morning brought to the witness stand two men who, as troubled boys lacking father figures, had been in Sandusky's Second Mile program. They said Sandusky never behaved inappropriately with them.

The second of the two, David Hilton, 21, said that during questioning by investigators, "I felt like they wanted me to say something that wasn't true."

The defense also called a witness whose testimony contradicted that of Mike McQueary, the Penn State assistant coach who said last week he saw Sandusky sodomizing a boy in a locker room shower in 2001.

Dr. Jonathan Dranov, who is a close friend of the McQueary family, went to the home of McQueary's parents the night of the incident and found the assistant coach extremely shaken by what he had seen. But McQueary, Dranov said, didn't say that he saw a sexual incident. Rather, he said he heard sexual sounds, Dranov recalled, and saw a boy's head pop out of the shower and then an arm pull the boy back.

"I kept saying, 'What did you see?' Each time, he would come back with sounds. I kept saying 'What did you see?' and each time it just seemed to make him more upset," Dranov said.

Asked to describe McQueary's demeanor, Dranov said: "His voice was trembling. His hands were shaking. He was visibly shaken," Dranov said.

Jurors will have to decide whether the defense was able to create sufficient doubt based on how the investigation was conducted, the reliability and motives of the accusers, and Sandusky's decades-long reputation as a man who worked tirelessly to help underprivileged children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.