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Jerry Sandusky Defense Begins With Character Witnesses

By Andrew Lu on June 19, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last week, prosecutors introduced testimony from eight alleged victims who vividly described sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky that they suffered as children.

This week, Jerry Sandusky's defense begins which much less poignant testimony.

On the first day of the defense, the focus was not on arguments as to why Jerry Sandusky didn't do it. Instead, the focus was on just what a great guy Sandusky supposedly is.

Two former Penn State assistant coaches took the stand and testified they've known Sandusky since the 1960s. Dick Anderson and Booker Brooks said that Sandusky had an impeccable reputation and that in the world of athletics, showering with children is not uncommon, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.

An Iraq war veteran also testified, as did a school teacher and a counselor from the Second Mile, Sandusky's charity for children. Their testimonies were all basically the same: Jerry Sandusky is a swell guy and does a lot of work with children.

Unfortunately for Jerry Sandusky's defense, it's not clear how any of this testimony acquits him of any of the 51 charges against him, reports the Daily News. Character witnesses are often used by lawyers as supplements to their primary argument. For example, a common defense strategy is to offer evidence as to why the accused didn't, or couldn't have, committed the crime. In support of this defense, the attorney would introduce neighbors and friends to serve as character witnesses who would usually say something along the lines of how the accused couldn't possibly commit the crime because he is such a great guy.

Jerry Sandusky's defense began with a fizzle with a string of character witnesses, but no evidence as to why Sandusky didn't commit the crimes.

With apparently no more evidence, the biggest question remains whether Sandusky himself will testify. Otherwise, this trial may be over before the weekend.

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