BELLEFONTE, Pa. -– Two witnesses described sharing communal showers with young boys as something "very common" that is done "all the time" when the defense team for Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State coach accused of assaulting multiple young boys, began its case Monday.
The first witness, former Penn State assistant coach Dick Anderson, testified that he worked with Sandusky for about 30 years. While Anderson spoke to his friend's "wonderful" reputation, he also made key revelations during cross-examination by prosecutor Joseph McGettigan III.
Asked if he ever saw Sandusky shower with boys, Anderson said, "Yes. I have also."
McGettigan appeared momentarily taken aback by the answer. After a brief pause, he followed up the question with, "Eleven-year-olds?" Anderson replied, "Yes."
"I do it all the time,” Anderson added. "There are regularly young boys at the YMCA showering at the same time that there are older people showering."
While he confirmed he had showered with young boys, Anderson said he never hugged or touched them while doing so.
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Role: Former assistant football coach and founder of The Second Mile charity for children, accused of molesting boys over a 15-year period. Background: Arrested in November after a long investigation by a statewide grand jury. He had been a very successful defensive coach for the Nittany Lions for 30 years, and prosecutors say he used his fame in the community to attract victims. Charges: Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault of a young child, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children. Status: Awaits trial, with jury selection scheduled for Tuesday.
Role: Married to Jerry Sandusky. Background: Dottie Sandusky has stood by her husband, posting his bail, accompanying him to court proceedings and issuing a statement in December that proclaimed his innocence and said accusers were making up stories. She is not charged.
Role: Penn State athletic director, on leave while he fights criminal charges for actions related to the Sandusky scandal. Background: Curley fielded a complaint about Sandusky in a team shower with a boy in early 2001, and told a grand jury he instructed Sandusky not to be inside Penn State athletic facilities with any young people. Charges: Failure to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury for lying to the grand jury. He's not on trial with Sandusky, denies the allegations and is seeking to have the charges dismissed.
Role: Penn State vice president for business and finance, now retired. Background: Schultz told the grand jury that head coach Joe Paterno and assistant Mike McQueary reported the 2001 shower incident "in a very general way" but did not provide details. Charges: Failure to properly report suspected child abuse and perjury for lying to the grand jury. He's not on trial with Sandusky, denies the allegations and is seeking to have the charges dismissed.
Role: Assistant Penn State football coach. Was a graduate assistant in 2001, when he says he witnessed Jerry Sandusky and a boy naked together in a team shower. McQueary took his complaint to Paterno, who alerted university administrators. Background: McQueary testified at a court hearing in December that he "believed Jerry was sexually molesting" the boy and "having some type of intercourse with him."
Role: Defense attorney for Jerry Sandusky. Background: Amendola has been second-guessed for allowing Sandusky to go on network television and speak at length with a reporter for The New York Times after his arrest. Has won several legal battles for Sandusky, including getting him released on bail and fighting the prosecution's effort to have the case heard by a jury from outside the State College area. His office is in State College.
Role: Another defense attorney for Jerry Sandusky. Background: Rominger suggested in media interviews that Sandusky might have been teaching "basic hygiene skills" to some of the youths, such as how to put soap on their bodies. His office is in Carlisle.
Role: Lead prosecutor. Background: McGettigan, currently senior deputy attorney general, is a veteran prosecutor with stints in the Philadelphia and Delaware County district attorneys' offices and the U.S. attorney's office. McGettigan prosecuted John du Pont, the chemical fortune heir who killed an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler at his palatial estate in 1996. He's known as an aggressive, feisty lawyer.
Role: Judge presiding over Sandusky's trial. Background: Cleland is a semi-retired senior judge from McKean County in western Pennsylvania. Known as courteous and fair-minded, Cleland previously chaired a state panel that investigated a nationally reported scandal in Luzerne County involving the trading of juvenile-detention suspects for cash.
Role: The longtime football coach was told by McQueary in 2001 that he saw Sandusky and Victim No. 2 in a shower on the Penn State campus and, in turn, told Curley and Schultz. Background: The head coach at Penn State from 1966 through 2011, and major college football's winningest, he offered to resign at the end of the 2011 season amid the uproar after Sandusky's arrest Nov. 6. The Penn State Board of Trustees, however, ousted him for what was called his "failure of leadership" surrounding allegations about Sandusky. He died of lung cancer Jan. 22.
Role: Married to Paterno for almost 50 years, she raised five children with him and passionately defended her husband during the scandal and after he died. It's unclear whether she might testify.
Role: Now the governor of Pennsylvania, he was attorney general when the investigation into Sandusky was launched by state prosecutors. Background: Corbett is an ex-officio member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, although he did not actively participate until after Sandusky was charged in December.
Role: Pennsylvania attorney general, whose office is prosecuting Sandusky. Background: A career prosecutor in the Pittsburgh area, Kelly inherited the Sandusky probe from Corbett when she was confirmed as his temporary successor as attorney general. She leaves office in January.
Role: Pennsylvania State Police commissioner. Background: Noonan garnered national attention two days after Sandusky's arrest when he criticized Paterno, a Penn State and sports icon, for failing his "moral responsibility" to do more when McQueary told him of the 2001 shower incident.
Role: Former CEO of The Second Mile, the charity Jerry Sandusky founded. Background: Raykovitz led the charity for almost 30 years and was a longtime friend of Sandusky's. Raykovitz testified before the grand jury that recommended indicting Sandusky on child abuse charges. He resigned from The Second Mile soon after the scandal broke, and board members later complained that Raykovitz hadn't told them enough about earlier allegations against Sandusky.
Former Penn State assistant coach Booker Brooks, who worked as a coach from 1968 to 1983, also testified that showering with youngsters was not unusual.
"Have you ever showered with young kids?" defense attorney Joseph Amendola asked.
"Many times," Brooks replied.
Like Anderson, Brooks showered with children at the YMCA. The practice is, "very common all over the country," he said.
Outside the courtroom, David La Torre, a spokesman for Penn State University, declined to discuss the testimony from the former coaches. "In deference to the legal process, the university will not comment on specifics of the ongoing legal case as it unfolds," La Torre told The Huffington Post.
Sandusky, 68, faces 51 criminal counts related to the alleged assaults of 10 boys over a 15-year period. The allegations led to the ouster of the Penn State University president and the longtime coach Joe Paterno, and prompted prosecutor Joseph McGettigan III to refer to Sandusky as a "serial predator." Sandusky maintains his innocence and his attorney has suggested his accusers may have ulterior motives.
David Pasquinelli, a State College political consultant who worked on Second Mile fundraisers, also was called by the defense to talk about his personal relationship with Sandusky who he said had a great reputation, said Pasquinelli.
In regard to the ex-coach's relationship with children, Pasquinelli said, "I saw a lot of goofing around with the kids."
Brett Witmer, a second-grade teacher in the Bellefonte school district who interned with Second Mile and knew Accuser 4, said he has known Sandusky since 1999. "Jerry certainly seemed to be an important part of [his] life," Witmer said.
Sandusky's interest in Accuser 4, "seemed like a genuine case of, interested in that the kid was doing well and going in the right direction," said Wittmer.
Judge John M. Cleland adjourned early due to "technical issues" with upcoming witnesses and said he expects the defense to rest Wednesday afternoon. Closing arguments would then follow Thursday.
The jury will be sequestered in a local hotel during deliberations, said Cleland.