MONTROSE - The prosecution team walked into the Susquehanna County courthouse this morning as Jeffrey Norris took the stand in his own defense.
Norris told his side of the story after being charged with having sex with a student while he was a teacher here at Montrose High School.
On Thursday, he told jurors, those accusations just aren't true. "I never even physically touched the victim, so no," said Norris.
Norris said after rumors began circulating around the school he tried to keep his distance, but that only frustrated the 14-year-old girl he said had a crush on him.
"I distanced myself from her. She would still try to come into the classroom. I told her I couldn't have her coming into the classroom by herself," said Norris.
After Norris testified here in Montrose, the almost entirely female jury listened closely to the closing arguments from both the prosecution and defense.
“This was a young women 14 obsessed with a teacher, attracted to him, had a crush on him, she admitted this. Not uncommon, but there were a series of circumstances in her life that would give her motive to fabricate this story,” said Defense Attorney Paul Accourey.
Norris’ team believes there were several holes in the prosecution’s case, but the prosecution said in court they believe they met their burden of proof in this case, providing countless witnesses discounting Norris’ version of the events.
Senior Deputy Attorney General John Flannery said satirically, ”You heard the defendant take the stand. This is all a conspiracy. I’m out to get him. It was masterminded by a devious 14 year old.“
Now the twelve people deliberating the case need to decide exactly who is telling the truth.
Norris is facing a total of 15 counts that also include stalking, intimidation, and illegal wire tapping. Deliberations began at about 3:45 this afternoon and the judge said they will continue tonight as long as the jury is willing to work.