BELLEFONTE - Jerry Sandusky's wife, Dottie, testified Tuesday she never saw any "inappropriate" contact between her husband and the young Second Mile boys he brought to their College Township home in Centre County over a period of 15 years.
Eight of those boys, who are now young men, said last week that Sandusky became their mentor and surrogate father after meeting them during Second Mile activities. They also told a Centre County jury that Sandusky sexually abused them in a basement bedroom of the home, from touching them to committing acts of oral and anal sex.
Sandusky's attorneys, Joseph Amendola and Karl Rominger, called Dottie Sandusky to the witness stand during the second day of the defense's case to talk about her nearly 46 years of marriage to the former Penn State assistant football coach and to relate how and why his Second Mile charity for at-risk children was started.
Dorothy Sandusky, wife of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, arrives Tuesday at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte. Jerry Sandusky is charged with 51 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys over a period of 15 years.
Amendola asked the grandmother of 12 whether she ever heard sounds from the basement when the children were put to bed at night and if she ever saw inappropriate touching.
"I hear lots of noises," she said.
She said she never heard any yelling from the children in the basement but did say her husband would go down and check on the youngsters at night.
Most of what she saw in the way of touching stemmed from the affection the children showed for her husband, Dottie Sandusky stated.
She related an incident when a boy, referred to as Victim 1 in court documents, was watching television with the family and he went and jumped on Jerry, who was sitting nearby.
The same child invited her and Jerry to one of his wrestling matches and when they arrived, the boy ran across the gymnasium to hug her husband, she said.
The boy called Victim 6 went to dinner at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant with Jerry and her last year where they talked about his attendance at at a Bible school, Dottie Sandusky said.
Victim 9 came to the home with a friend last year for football tickets, and Victim 4 brought his wife and newborn child to their home for a chicken dinner last year, she continued.
She described Victim 1 as "clingy," Victim 9 as "a charmer" and Victim 4 as "very conniving, and he wanted his way and he didn't listen a whole lot."
Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan asked her if she knew any reason why the young men and former Penn State Assistant Football Coach Mike McQueary, who testified last week he saw Sandusky having sex with a young boy in the showers at the Lasch Football Building in February 2001, would lie.
"I ... I don't know," she answered.
Dottie Sandusky said she was married in 1966 when her husband was a graduate assistant football coach.
After stints as a coach at Juniata College and Boston University, he returned to Penn State, where he played football, to coach under Joe Paterno.
She said he had a "busy life" with coaching, recruiting and other activities associated with his job.
The couple couldn't have children so they became foster parents and eventually ended up adopting six children.
"We enjoyed helping the children," she said.
Sandusky was raised by his parents in Washington, Pa., where they ran a youth center. He wanted to follow in his parents' footsteps and started The Second Mile charity (in 1977). After he retired as a coach in 1999, Jerry Sandusky was very busy fundraising for The Second Mile, his wife said.
Dottie Sandusky's testimony was among the least controversial or contentious aspects during a day of many legal battles.
The battles included an insinuation that state police conducted a "tainted" investigation and a disagreement between mental health professionals about whether Jerry Sandusky suffered from histrionic personality disorder.
Amendola and Rominger took the unusual step of calling state police Cpl. Joseph A. Leiter and state police Cpl. Scott Rossman, who both investigated the child sexual abuse charges, to the stand.
He then produced a tape recording of a conversation between Leiter and an attorney for Victim 4, Benjamin Andreozzi of Harrisburg, that occurred during a break as the alleged victim was being interviewed by police.
During that break, the tape kept running. It was supposed to be turned off.
In the conversation, the officer informed Andreozzi that nine other young men had come forward with information about Sandusky's sexual activities with Second Mile boys and that they had testified about oral and anal sex, not just inappropriate touching.
Amendola suggested the investigator coached Victim 4 and the other boys on what story they ought to tell, and asked Leiter if what he did "tainted" the investigation.
Leiter said it did not.
Then came the battle between Elliott Atkins, a psychologist, who said Sandusky suffered from histrionic personality disorder, and Dr. John O'Brien, a psychiatrist.
The personality disorder causes individuals to crave attention, to act in dramatic fashion, to be egocentric and to be shallow in their relations with other adults, Atkins said.
Several letters were found during a police search of office material Sandusky had stored at Penn State.
In the letters, referred to by one victim as "creepy love letters," Sandusky, apparently upset because one of the boys no longer wanted to associate with him, asked things like: "What does loyalty mean to you? Do you care at all about me? Do you do anything for anybody when there is nothing in it for you?"
O'Brien said that after reviewing two sets of personality tests taken by Sandusky, he did not agree that Sandusky suffered from histrionic personality disorder. The test results showed Sandusky was deceptive in his answers, attempting to gloss over his faults to present a good picture of himself, O'Brien said.
The psychiatrist called the letters "adolescent" and simply an attempt to manipulate the child.
Even the news media got into the action.
Late Tuesday, attorneys for the Harrisburg Patriot-News asked Senior Judge John Cleland to void a defense subpoena issued to reporter Sara Gamin.
Gamin allegedly sent an email last year to the mother of Victim 6 suggesting to her that she should contact now-retired state police Cpl. Joseph Leiter, the crime section supervisor of the Rockview state police barracks, "if you want your case to go forward."
The newspaper's attorneys said they knew nothing of the supposed email and wanted time to talk to Gamin, who won a Pulitzer Prize this year for her reporting on the Sandusky case.
Cleland said he would make a decision on the subpoena this morning.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Defense contends troopers planted seeds of allegations
BELLEFONTE - Jerry Sandusky's defense team turned to audio tape from a 2011 police interview with Victim 4 and his attorney to cast aspersions on the investigation by suggesting two state troopers tainted the testimony of the accusers.
"Can you at some point in time say to him, 'Listen, we've interviewed other kids, and other kids have told us there was intercourse and, you know - is there anything else you want to tell us?'" the voice of Victim 4's Harrisburg-based attorney Ben Andreozzi was heard as he spoke to state police Cpl. Joseph Leiter while Victim 4 was outside smoking a cigarette.
From the tape, it appeared both Andreozzi and Leiter, a 26-year state police veteran who is now retired, believed the tape had been stopped when they took a 16-minute break after about an hour into the 2-hour interview on April 21, 2011, at an unspecified state police barracks.
Sandusky's defense team jumped on that statement along with Leiter's response.
"Yep, we do that with all the other kids," Leiter was heard saying.
Before the jury heard the tape, Leiter testified that while he did tell potential accusers there were others who told police of abuse at the hands of Sandusky, he never provided any details to them about the others' statements.
"I didn't go into details," Leiter said when questioned by lead defense attorney Joseph Amendola during his first trip to the stand. "I told him others told us similar things."
On the tape, when Victim 4, who was then 27 years old, returns, Leiter is heard telling the young man, "You're not the first person we've spoken to."
Leiter goes on to say police have interviewed nine others and then reassures the accuser.
"You're doing very well," Leiter said on the tape to Victim 4. "This is amazing. You're repeating word for word what other people have told us."
Leiter then tells Victim 4 of Sandusky's "defined progression in the way he operates" and that "often times, especially when this goes on for an extended period of time, this progression leads to more than touching and feeling - leads to actual oral sex taking place."
Leiter is heard telling the victim "don't feel ashamed" and said the young man was a victim and that Sandusky "took advantage of you" before asking him to tell police exactly what happened "as graphically as you can."
After the tape was played, Leiter was again called to the stand by the defense to field more questions about what the troopers said to Victim 4 and other potential accusers that allegedly could have influenced their stories.
"You mentioned rape," defense attorney Karl Rominger said to Leiter. "You mentioned oral sex. You mentioned specific allegations."
Leiter testified on cross-examination by prosecutor Joseph McGettigan that telling Victim 4 that he was not alone was an appropriate investigation technique. He said he told Victim 4 this in order to draw out what he suspected - that the young man was simply holding back out of embarrassment or shame - not because he was trying to get him to embellish, lie or otherwise say anything that wasn't true.
Still, the jury did witness Rossman's and Leiter's testimonies clash after Rossman testified on his second appearance on the witness stand that Leiter and he hadn't discussed their testimony from their first appearance Tuesday while waiting in the halls of the Centre County Courthouse.
Moments later, when asked if the two had discussed their testimony, Leiter said they had.
"So what you're saying is Trooper Rossman lied?" asked Rominger, prompting Senior Judge John Cleland to put a stop to the question before Leiter could respond.
"That's for the jury to decide," Cleland said.
Throughout the contentious testimony, Cleland had to corral attorneys on both sides as they posed questions about the tape in an attempt, as he has since the trial began, to keep the testimony relevant to the facts of the case.
"The issue is whether or not the seeds were planted by the officer," Cleland told McGettigan after the attorney asked for a segment of the taped exchange to be replayed. "The purpose of the tape is to rebut the testimony of the officers. If you're going to play something that rebuts that, I'll let you play it but not a repeat."
Andreozzi also took the stand Tuesday to answer questions about the interview, although he refused to answer questions about the specifics of his representation agreement with Victim 4.
Andreozzi said his client was distraught and didn't want to talk with police on April 21, 2011, and that he knew there was more Victim 4 wasn't telling investigators.
"He told me something else had happened but he wasn't comfortable talking about it," Andreozzi, a self-described attorney representing victims of sexual abuse, said. The attorney also said he's never told his client what to say when it comes to the allegations.
As for his agreement to represent Victim 4, Andreozzi said he did so after the young man's father called him. He said he doesn't always get paid when assisting victims and he was helping Victim 4 in many ways, including dealing with news media.
When asked by the defense if that meant filing a civil lawsuit on behalf of Victim 4, Andreozzi said it hadn't yet been discussed but there's potential a case could be brought. When pressed that a guilty verdict in the criminal trial could have an impact on such a case, Andreozzi admitted it might.
"It could have an impact, yes," Andreozzi said.
Outside the courthouse, attorney Tom Kline, who represents Victim 5, blasted the defense on both the notion that the tape revealed any influence on the alleged victims' statements to police or that a guilty verdict would necessarily help any subsequent civil cases.
"To the contrary, we didn't hear the other two hours of the tape, interestingly," Kline said. "If there was something so damning on that tape that these officers suggested - rhetorical question to the public - don't you think that would have been played?"
Kline said he simply didn't make the connection Sandusky's defense team was trying to make: that an off-the-record suggestion by the attorney to the investigating trooper that he tell the accuser he wasn't alone so he was more comfortable in telling the full extent of the abuse was tantamount to putting words in the mouths of the alleged victim.
Kline also took issue with the defense team's continuing insinuations that the victims are after money and therefore made up the stories.
"It is not a statement that it is correct that a guilty verdict here would help a civil prosecution," Kline said.. "Any civil prosecution would need to stand on its own. And the Exhibit A in America is the O.J. Simpson prosecution - criminal prosecution - which failed and the civil case which succeeded."
Kline went on to say while the criminal trial was designed to hold Sandusky accountable, civil litigation would be the only way to hold other parties accountable.
"Any case against Penn State down the road, which is the elephant in the room ... I believe any case against is the only way that Penn State will be held accountable," Kline stated.