UPDATE 10:00 a.m. -- Three additional counts against Sandusky have been dropped. He now faces 48 charges.

For more on the dropped charges, click here

UPDATE 8:45 a.m. -- Sandusky defense attorney Joe Amendola arrived at the courthouse without his client for the first time since the trial started. Asked where the defendant was, Amendola joked, "I forgot him." Shortly after, Sandusky arrived accompanied by his wife, Dottie, and the rest of his family.

The courtroom is packed in anticipation of the 9 a.m. closing arguments.

Original Story

By MARK SCOLFORO AND GENARO C. ARMAS, The Associated Press

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Seven women and five men poised to hear closing arguments in Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse trial would begin jury deliberations without the benefit of having the former Penn State assistant football coach take the witness stand in his own defense.

More than a week of often-explicit testimony wrapped up Wednesday after Sandusky's defense team rested without calling their client. That set up closing arguments for Thursday morning, and jurors could start meeting behind closed doors that afternoon to start weighing Sandusky's fate.

Once famed for his coaching acumen, Sandusky is charged with 51 criminal counts for the alleged abuse of 10 boys over 15 years in hotels, at his home and in the football team's showers. Sandusky has maintained his innocence, and his attorneys have tried to weaken the prosecution's case by discrediting police investigators and suggesting that accusers are hoping to cash in on potential civil lawsuits.

Sandusky's arrest in November sparked an explosive scandal that led to the ousters of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno and the university president, and cast a critical eye on the role of college administrators in reporting abuse allegations. The sweeping case also led to renewed focus on child abuse issues.

The defense called just four new witnesses Wednesday, including a physician who they used to try to poke holes in the story of a Penn State assistant coach who testified that he saw Sandusky sexually assault a boy in the team showers more than a decade ago.

Story continues below:

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  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison, effectively a life sentence, in the child sexual abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno's downfall. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, is escorted by police as he leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky Sentencing

    A crush of media and onlookers outside of Center County courthouse for Jerry Sandusky's sentencing.

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison, effectively a life sentence, in the child sexual abuse scandal that brought shame to Penn State and led to coach Joe Paterno's downfall. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives for sentencing at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, arrives for sentencing at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys in a scandal that rocked the university and brought down Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives for sentencing at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys in a scandal that rocked the university and brought down Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse for a sentencing hearing Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, in Bellefonte, Pa. Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys in a scandal that rocked the university and brought down Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is escorted by Centre County Sheriff Denny Nau as he is taken into custody at the Centre County Courthouse after being found guilty of multiple charges of child sexual abuse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012. Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years on Friday, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, rear, leaves the Centre County Courthouse with a Centre County Sheriff's deputy after being found guilty of multiple charges of child sexual abuse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012. Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Outside Courthouse

    The scene outside the courthouse after the verdict was announced.

  • Jerry Sandusky, Dottie Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, rear, and his wife Dottie leave the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012.

  • Dorothy Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's wife Dorothy Sandusky arrives at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Thursday, June 21, 2012.

  • Gary Schultz

    Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley, right, arrives for a hearing at Dauphin County Court, Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, in Harrisburg, Pa.

  • Jerry Sandusky, Karl Rominger

    In this courtroom sketch, Karl Rominger, left, attorney for Jerry Sandusky, right, listen as the testimony of Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary is reenacted at the request of the jury during the second day of jury deliberations in Sandusky's child sexual abuse trial at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012.

  • FILE - This Dec. 7, 2011 file booking photo released by the Centre County Correctional Facility in Bellefonte, Penn. shows former Penn State football defensive coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Sandusky.

  • Dottie Sandusky

    In this Dec. 13, 2011 file photo, Dottie Sandusky, wife of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

  • The Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., is shown Monday, Dec. 12, 2011.

  • Mike McQueary

    In this file photo from Jan. 25, 2012, former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary arrives to the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on the Penn State campus for the funeral service of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in State College, Pa.

  • Jerry Sandusky

    In this Feb. 10, 2012 file photo, Jerry Sandusky speaks to the media at the Centre County Courthouse after a bail conditions hearing, in Bellefonte, Pa. Former FBI chief Louis Freeh and his investigators have conducted 200 interviews in their expansive probe into the child sex scandal at Penn State.

  • This March 26, 2012 file photo shows the sign outside the State College, Pa. office of The Second Mile. The charity for troubled youths started by Jerry Sandusky more than three decades ago -- and through which the retired Penn State assistant football coach met the boys he was sexually abusing.

  • Gary Schultz, Tim Curley

    FILE - In these Nov. 7, 2011 file photos, former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz, left, and former athletic director Tim Curley, right, enter a district judge's office for an arraignment in Harrisburg, Pa., for their actions related to the sex abuse scandal surrounding former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Despite Sandusky

  • Karl Rominger

    FILE - In this file photo from Dec. 13, 2011, Karl Rominger, an attorney for former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky who is accused of molesting boys over a 15-year period, stands outside the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. Rominger entered his formal appearance on Sandusky's behalf in April 2012, but had previously been assisting with the defense. Despite Sandusky

  • Sue Paterno

    FILE - In this file photo from Jan. 26, 2012, Sue Paterno, wife of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, enters a memorial service at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa. A capacity crowd of more than 12,000 packed the arena for one more tribute to Paterno, the Hall of Fame football coach who died from lung cancer.

  • Jerry Sandusky

    FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2012 file photo, Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach charged with sexually abusing boys, speaks to the media at the Centre County Courthouse after a bail conditions hearing in Bellefonte, Pa. Alleged victims of Sandusky will not be allowed to avoid disclosure of their names by testifying under pseudonyms, and tweets or other electronic communications by reporters will not be permitted during the trial, the judge ruled Monday, June 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

  • Television satellite trucks set up outside the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Monday, June 4, 2012, in preparation for the start of the child sexual abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Joe Paterno

    FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2006 file photo, then Penn State coach Joe Paterno watches the college football game against Youngstown State in State College, Pa. Paterno, the Penn State football coach since 1966, was told by an assistant coach that he saw former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and a young boy in a shower on the Penn State campus and Paterno in turn, told Penn State officials. The Penn State Board of Trustees ousted him on Nov. 6, 201 for what was called his

  • Tom Corbett

    FILE - In this March 8, 2011 file photo, Gov. Tom Corbett addresses a joint session of the Pennsylvania House and Senate in Harrisburg, Pa. Corbett was the attorney general when the investigation into former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was launched by state prosecutors. Sandusky is accused of molesting boys over a 15-year period. Corbett also serves as a member of the Penn State Board of Trustees, although he did not actively participate until after Sandusky was charged in December. Despite Sandusky

  • Joe Amendola

    FILE - In this file photo from Dec. 13, 2011, Joe Amendola, attorney for former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky who is accused of molesting boys over a 15-year period, talks with media outside the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. 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. Despite Sandusky

  • Mike McQueary

    File-This Sept. 12, 2009 file photo shows Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary walking the sideline during the second half of their college football game against Syracuse in State College, Pa. McQueary, whose report of Jerry Sandusky allegedly attacking a child in the showers led to Joe Paterno's firing said in a court filing Tuesday May 8, 2012 that he is suing the school. The "writ of summons" filed by McQueary's lawyer described it as a whistle-blower case, but the brief document was not accompanied by a full complaint that would lay out the allegations. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster,File)

  • Jerry Sandusky, Joe Amendola

    FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2011 file photo, former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center left, walks with his attorney Joe Amendola, center right, as he leaves the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa. Of all the boys Sandusky is accused of molesting, none has been the focus of more outrage than the one known as Victim 2 _ the boy allegedly abused in a locker room shower, the case that ended Joe Paterno's career and the issue that spawned criminal charges against two school officials. Prosecutors say they don't know one important fact about him: his identity. The prospect that a victim in a sex abuse case is unknown presents a challenge for prosecutors; another potential complication is that Sandusky believes he knows the alleged victim _ and says he could help exonerate him. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

  • People display shirts asking the board to resign before a meeting of the Penn State Board of Trustees at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Friday, March 16, 2012 in Hershey, Pa. The trustees are meeting in Hershey to discuss potential changes to the board amid criticism over its handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Joe Paterno

    FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2011 file photo, Penn State coach Joe Paterno arrives home, in State College, Pa. Penn State's trustees say late coach Joe Paterno's failure to follow up on a sexual abuse allegation against former assistant Jerry Sandusky "constituted a failure of leadership" that ultimately led to his firing in November. A report issued Monday, March 12, 2012, by the trustees says the board ultimately decided to fire Paterno after learning the details of his testimony before a grand jury when charges were filed against Sandusky. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

  • Mike McQueary

    Former Penn State assistant football caoch Mike McQueary, left, arrives to the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center on the Penn State campus for the funeral service of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in State College, Pa., Wednesday Jan. 25, 2012. As a graduate assistant to Paterno in 2002, McQueary went to the coach saying he had witnessed former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky assaulting a boy in the shower at the Penn State football building. Paterno died Sunday at the age of 85. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

  • Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky

    <em>CORRECTION: Jerry Sandusky's name was misspelled in an earlier version of this slideshow. </em>

  • Jerry Sandusky, Dottie Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, right center, arrives with his wife Dottie, left center, at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012. Sandusky is accused of sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, center, arrives at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Friday, June 22, 2012. Sandusky is accused of sexual abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse Friday, June 22, 2012, after being found guilty in his sexual abuse trial, in Bellefonte, Pa. Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years Friday, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark)

Defense attorneys finished in three days, resting around lunchtime Wednesday only after a longer-than-expected recess during which Sandusky and his lawyers huddled in private amid rampant speculation in the courtroom that he would take the witness stand.

Now, closing statements await the 12 jurors in a trial moving at a quick pace, more briskly than even the three-week time frame that Judge John Cleland had once estimated.


Cleland said he will begin Thursday by issuing jury instructions. The defense would then present its closing remarks before the prosecution takes its turn.

Then it's the jury that will determine the schedule depending on how long they take in deliberations. If convicted, the 68-year-old former defensive coordinator could be sent to state prison for the rest of his life.

Jurors will have to decide whether the defense was able to create sufficient doubt based on how the investigation was conducted, the reliability and motives of the accusers, and Sandusky's decades-long reputation as a man who worked tirelessly to help underprivileged children.

Prosecutors called 22 witnesses, including eight young men, ages 18 to 28, who alleged a range of abuse from grooming, kissing and massaging to fondling, oral sex and anal rape when they were boys.

Many of the 28 defense witnesses testified briefly to vouch for Sandusky's reputation. The defense's case has consisted of character witnesses who defended Sandusky's reputation, a psychologist who said Sandusky had a personality disorder and the ex-coach's wife, who said she did not see her husband do anything inappropriate with the accusers. His lawyers showed that an investigator had shared information with an accuser about other alleged victims' stories and repeatedly suggested that accusers have financial motivations for their claims.

Sandusky was only heard from via a November interview with NBC's Bob Costas, saying he probably shouldn't have showered with boys; and in letters he wrote to one of his accusers.

One of the last witnesses called was Dr. Jonathan Dranov, a physician summoned to the home of Mike McQueary's father in February 2001 to hear McQueary's account of seeing Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in the campus showers. The boy, known only as Victim 2, has never been identified and isn't known to prosecutors.

Dranov testified that McQueary told of hearing "sexual sounds" and seeing a boy in the shower before an arm reached around to pull him out of view. McQueary said he made eye contact with the boy and Sandusky later emerged from the showers, Dranov said.

That account is different from what McQueary told a grand jury and testified to at a preliminary hearing and at the trial. He has said he saw Sandusky directly behind the boy's back, moving his midsection enough to convince McQueary it was a sex act.

Dranov told the jury that McQueary described hearing sounds he considered sexual in nature but did not provide him with a graphic description of what he saw.

"It just seemed to make him upset so I backed off that," Dranov said.

Asked to describe McQueary's demeanor, Dranov said: "His voice was trembling. His hands were shaking. He was visibly shaken," Dranov said.

McQueary's report to his superiors – and Penn State officials' failure to go to outside law enforcement – led to the firing of Paterno, who died of cancer in January.

McQueary had testified earlier in the trial that he wasn't "over-descriptive" in his conversation with Dranov, saying he told the doctor that what he saw was sexual, wrong and perverse.

David Hilton, who met Sandusky through a summer camp of his charity, testified Wednesday he felt like investigators were trying to coach him into accusing Sandusky.

"When it got to the second or third time I felt like they wanted me to say something that isn't true," he said.

During cross examination, lead prosecutor Joe McGettigan told Hilton that Hilton's uncle had contacted authorities out of concern after hearing of the initial charges against Sandusky.

Prosecutors allege that Sandusky met his alleged victims through The Second Mile charity. Sandusky founded the organization that once was lauded for its efforts to help at-risk children.

Sandusky didn't take the stand after his lawyer suggested in opening statements that he might and a day after his wife, Dottie, testified. In interviews Sandusky did shortly after his arrest in November, with the support and presence of defense attorney Joe Amendola, his responses were halting and uncertain, raising doubts about how he might stand up to cross-examination.

Criminal defendants in Pennsylvania, in serious crimes, generally are required to waive their right to testify on their own behalf, although that does not always happen in open court.

One of the jurors was excused from the case Wednesday with an illness; the female juror was replaced by an alternate, also a woman.

Sandusky attorney Karl Rominger also asked Cleland to dismiss five counts related to so-called Victim 8, the other boy never identified by investigators. Rominger argued that the timing of the charges had not been proven by the testimony of a janitor's co-worker, who said the janitor had told him he saw Sandusky molest the boy in a shower. The Penn State janitor himself was ruled not medically competent to testify.

The judge didn't immediately rule on the motion.

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