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Sandusky son says he was abused; As case goes to jury, family aspect is cited

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Lawyers for one of Jerry Sandusky's adopted sons said the man has told authorities that the former Penn State assistant football coach abused him.

The lawyers issued a statement Thursday naming Matt Sandusky, one of Jerry Sandusky's six adopted children, and saying that the 33-year-old had been prepared to testify on behalf of prosecutors at his father's child sex-abuse trial.

"During the trial, Matt Sandusky contacted us and requested our advice and assistance in arranging a meeting with prosecutors to disclose for the first time in this case that he is a victim of Jerry Sandusky's abuse," Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici wrote in the statement. "At Matt's request, we immediately arranged a meeting between him and the prosecutors and investigators.

"This has been an extremely painful experience for Matt, and he has asked us to convey his request that the media respect his privacy. There will be no further comment."

The statement was issued after jurors in the ex-coach's child sex-abuse trial began deliberating 48 charges against him. The sequestered panel met for more than eight hours before recessing.

Sandusky lawyer Joseph Amendola insisted during a pretrial hearing this year that all of his client's six adopted children would be willing to vouch for his character. None, including Matt Sandusky, was called to testify.

Matt Sandusky went to live with Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, as a foster child and was adopted by them as an adult.

Shortly after the former coach's arrest in November, Matt Sandusky's ex-wife went to court to keep her former father-in-law away from their three young children. Jill Jones successfully obtained a restraining order forbidding the children from sleeping over at their grandparents' home.

At around the same time, details emerged that Matt Sandusky had attempted suicide just four months after first going to live with the couple in 1995. He had come into the home through the Second Mile charity, which Jerry Sandusky founded, and was first a foster child before being legally adopted.

Jurors began their deliberations after prosecutors described him as a serial molester who groomed his victims, while his defense lawyer said Sandusky was being victimized by an overzealous prosecution and greedy accusers.

Prosecutors said Sandusky was "a serial, predatory pedophile" who used gifts and the pageantry of Penn State's vaunted football program to lure and abuse vulnerable boys who came from troubled homes.

"What you should do is come out and say to the defendant that he molested and abused and give them back their souls," Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan III. "I give them to you. Acknowledge and give them justice."

Standing behind Sandusky, McGettigan implored the jury to convict him

"He molested and abused and hurt these children horribly," McGettigan said. "He knows he did it, and you know he did it.

"Find him guilty of everything."

Sandusky's attorney said the 68-year-old former coach was being victimized by investigators who led accusers into making false claims about a generous man whose charity gave them much-needed love.

"They went after him, and I submit to you they were going to get him hell or high water, even if they had to coach witnesses," Amendola said in a sometimes angry closing argument.

If convicted, Sandusky could spend the rest of his life in state prison.

Meanwhile, a man with a civil lawsuit pending against Jerry Sandusky spoke out Thursday.

In a lawsuit filed in state court in Philadelphia in November, shortly after Sandusky was charged, Travis Weaver alleged that Sandusky sexually assaulted him starting at age 10. He said he was abused on campus, at Sandusky's home and on a trip to the Rose Bowl.

In an interview with NBC's "Rock Center With Brian Williams" airing Thursday night, Weaver, 30, said Sandusky abused him more than 100 times over four years starting in 1992. He said he thought he was the only one until he saw Sandusky on the news.

Late Thursday, the jury asked the judge if they could rehear testimony from two witnesses: Mike McQueary, a onetime graduate assistant who reported seeing Sandusky assault a boy in a campus shower, and Dr. Jonathan Dranov, who testified that McQueary gave him a different account of what he saw. Judge John M. Cleland suggested they wait and rehear it today, and jurors agreed.

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