Analysis: Sandusky Does Not Testify
SCRANTON — For seven days, the jurors in Centre County heard from eight accusers who testified Jerry Sandusky sexually abused them as young boys.
They heard from investigators, other former Penn State football coaches, and Sandusky’s wife Dottie.
They did not, however, hear from the man himself, Jerry Sandusky.
“Anyone facing those types of charges and his reputation tattered as it is right now would take that stand, this coach, this leader, this outspoken community leader would take the stand and defend himself in his own words. He did it on TV, but he did not today, so that kind of begs the question,” said Jarrett Ferentino.
Jarrett Ferentino, Luzerne County prosecutor and attorney, said like many, he was surprised Sandusky decided not to testify.
Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, told reporters outside the courthouse Wednesday the decision was last-minute, but Amendola did hint to the jury in opening statements that they would hear from Sandusky.
Attorney Amendola had alluded in his opening statement that the jury would hear from Jerry Sandusky.
“One of the cardinal rules in the practice of law, particularly in litigation is don’t break promises to the jury,” said Ferentino.
Ferentino said the decision to keep Sandusky off the stand probably had something to do with the testimony from Dr. John O’Brien.
Dr. O’Brien met with Sandusky Sunday and testified Tuesday that Sandusky exhibited signs of psychosexual disorder with a preference for adolescent boys.
O’Brien was called after a defense witness testified that Sandusky had a disorder known as Histrionic Personality Disorder, meaning he was prone to dramatics.
If Sandusky had taken the stand, prosecutors could have asked him about what he told Dr. O’Brien during his evaluation.
“I can only guess that the evaluation of Dr. John O’Brien that was done on behalf of the commonwealth elicited information from Jerry Sandusky that the defense did not want to come out,” said Ferentino.
Ferentino, himself, has used Dr. O’Brien as an expert witness in four homicide trials in Luzerne County and those four times, he said O’Brien helped him win first degree murder convictions.
Soon, jurors will decide Sandusky’s fate.
“I think this is the equivalent of the linebacker team that Jerry Sandusky used to put together that was difficult to deal with. We have eight victims that are going to be tough to break down. We have Dr O’Brien who I think took apart the histrionic disorder,” said Ferentino.