The wife of Jerry Sandusky, the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach accused of molesting young boys, testified that she never had any indication of such misconduct by her husband.
When defense lawyer Joseph Amendola asked Dottie Sandusky yesterday if she ever heard a child yelling for help from the basement, as one victim testified, she told jurors at her husband’s state-court trial in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, that she hadn’t.
She said the basement wasn’t soundproofed, she has good hearing, and she often went down there to use the freezer.
Amendola asked her if she could think of any reason any of the alleged victims would lie about her husband of 45 years, and she answered, “I don’t know what it would be.”
Dottie Sandusky wasn’t charged in the case.
In other testimony yesterday, a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who helped investigate the allegations against Sandusky said he didn’t tell a witness what to say.
“Did you ever taint a witness?” Joseph Amendola asked Corporal Joseph Leiter.
“No,” Leiter responded.
Jurors then heard a tape recording in which Leiter interviewed one of the victims and stated that Sandusky was responsible for attacking him.
“What happened, happened; he took advantage of you,” Leiter said on the tape. “We need you to tell us that this is what happened.”
Leiter was asked about the taped interview and said he only recalled “parts of it.” When the question of truthfulness about the tape was mentioned, Judge John Cleland stopped the testimony and said, “That’s for the jury to decide.”
Other defense witnesses testified about Sandusky’s character.
Joyce Porter of State College, Pennsylvania, a mother of 14 children, said she has known Sandusky for 40 years. “All the people I know who know Jerry think he’s a wonderful man,” she testified.
Sandusky, 68, faces 51 counts alleging that he assaulted 10 boys over 15 years. Each count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse is punishable by as long as 20 years in prison.
The trial began June 11. Sandusky denies the allegations.
Prosecutors say Sandusky used the charity he founded in 1977, the Second Mile, to recruit victims, “grooming” them with gifts, trips to football games and money.
Another witness, Megan Rash, 25, of Milesburg, Pennsylvania, said she knew Sandusky through Second Mile when she was in elementary school, and she also knew one of the alleged victims. She told the jury that summers spent with the group were “amazing.”
The case is Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Sandusky, CP-14-2422-2011, Court of Common Pleas, Centre County, Pennsylvania (Bellefonte).
To contact the reporters on this story: Drew Gingrich in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; Sophia Pearson in Philadelphia at firstname.lastname@example.org; Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at email@example.com.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at firstname.lastname@example.org.