Instead, after nine days in the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., the jury must decide between two accounts of events: one that paints Sandusky as a monster who preyed on young boys, and a second that depicts his affections not as sexual but rather as the result of a mental health disorder.
Once the case gets handed to the jury for deliberation, the task will be weighty, but the decision clear-cut, says Michael Scotto, a former criminal prosecutor in New York City: “You believe [the victims] or you don’t. There’s not a lot of nuance.”
Attorneys representing Sandusky were criticized in the early weeks of his arrest for exposing their client to two media interviews, one for NBC and the other for the New York Times, both of which became immediate missteps: Sandusky denying the accusations but appearing unaware of the traditional boundaries between adults and children.
"If I say, 'no, I'm not attracted to young boys,' that's not the truth, because I'm attracted to young people – boys, girls … I enjoy spending time with young people,” he told the Times in December.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a surprise he never made it to the witness stand. Instead, lead defense attorney Joseph Amendola ushered in surrogates who vouched for Sandusky’s good character, the most powerful being Dottie Sandusky, his wife of 45 years. The grandmotherly Mrs.Sandusky countered the accounts of narratives, laid out by the alleged victims, that her husband molested them in the basement of their home, a hotel bathroom, and the locker room showers of the Penn State athletics department.