06/20/2012 02:42 pm ET

Jerry Sandusky Trial: Defense Rests In Child Abuse Case Without Testimony From Former Coach

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Lawyers for Jerry Sandusky rested their case Wednesday without putting the former Penn State assistant coach on the stand to answer charges that he sexually abused young boys.

Earlier in the day, Sandusky's attorney Joseph Amendola refused to comment on whether the defense team planned to call his client. "I can't talk about the case. The judge will throw me in the clink," Amendola said, referring to an active ban on trial participants speaking publicly about the case.

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 late 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.

The former coach came to court Wednesday immaculately dressed in a suit and tie with freshly polished shoes, and was smiling. It had been rumored that Sandusky would testify. Why he did not take the stand is unknown; attorneys and the judge spent much of the afternoon behind closed-doors in private conversation.

For four days last week, prosecutors called several witnesses. A number of them -- men who were young boys at the time of the alleged incidents -- described being seduced with gifts and forced to engage in sex acts with Sandusky.

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Jerry Sandusky Trial

Beginning on Monday, the defense called a total of 26 character witnesses who described Sandusky as a law abiding citizen and a "wonderful man." That sentiment continued Wednesday, as two men described Sandusky as a father-figure and said that despite spending a lot of time with him in his home, they were never molested.

"This guy has done so much for me and so many other people. That is why I am here today," Chad Rexroad testified. Rexroad said he was involved in Sandusky's charity, Second Mile, from ages 10 to 15.

Rexroad's testimony was far different from last week's graphic testimony from Accuser 9. "He started getting physical, like having me touch his penis and stuff. He made me give him a, suck his penis is how you'd put it. He came in my room, pulled his pants down, laid on top of me, and kind of forced it in," Accuser 9 told the jury. "He put his penis in my butt."

The names of the accusers are being withheld, although they are testifying in open court.

Accuser 9 said he was between 13 and 15 the first time Sandusky raped him. He also said he cried out for help on at least one occasion when he and Sandusky were in the basement and when Sandusky's wife, Dorothy, was upstairs, but nothing happened.
Accuser 9 testified that he believed Sandusky's basement is "soundproof."

On Tuesday, Dorothy "Dottie" Sandusky testified she never witnessed any inappropriate contact between her husband and young boys. She described Accuser 9 as a charmer. "He knew what to say, when to say it," she said.

Sandusky also denied hearing screams from the basement. She said it is not soundproof. "I hear lots of noises [from the basement]," she said.

Jerry Sandusky's attorneys early this week mounted a so-called histrionic personality disorder defense. Psychologist Dr. Elliot Atkins testified Tuesday that he diagnosed Sandusky with the disorder. The condition, Atkins said, is characterized by excessive emotions, attention seeking, and inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior.

Closing arguments and jury instructions are scheduled for Thursday.

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