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article imageJerry Sandusky's adopted son accuses him of abuse

By Layne Weiss     Jun 21, 2012 in Crime
Matt Sandusky, 33, one of the adopted sons of Jerry Sandusky, has come forward to say his father abused him, ESPN is reporting.
Jerry Sandusky, 68, faces life in prison for 48 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys over 15 years, BBC News reports.
Prosecutors have called the former Penn State assistant football coach a "predator pedophile," but Sandusky's defense team has argued that his accusers have financial motives. Sandusky denies all charges against him.
Matt Sandusky's lawyers issued a statement Thursday that Matt had contacted them and is prepared to testify for the prosecution about his father's abuse , CBS News reports.
"During the trial, Matt Sandusky contacted us and requested our advice and assistance in arranging a meeting with prosecutors to disclose for the first time in this case that he is a victim of Jerry Sandusky's abuse," attorneys Andrew Shubin and Justine Androcini wrote. "At Matt's request, we immediately arranged a meeting between him and the prosecutors and investigators."
Matt Sandusky went to live with Jerry and his wife Dottie as a foster child. Matt was legally adopted by Jerry and Dottie as an adult.
Shortly after Jerry Sandusky's arrest, Matt's ex wife, Jill Jones, reportedly went to court to keep Jerry away from her and Matt's 3 young children, and successfully obtained a restraining order forbidding the children from sleeping at their grandparents' house, CBS News reports.
Around the same time, it was reported that Matt had attempted suicide in 1995, just 4 months after going to live with the Sanduskys.
According to The New York Times, Matt repeatedly denied that his father abused him and even accompanied his family in public displays of support.
Matt's biological mother, however, has told a different story. She said Jerry Sandusky essentially took her son from her. Her husband, Mike Long, said Matt's behavior worsened when he went to live with the Sanduskys, and shortly after moving there, he ran away in a rainstorm. Mike Long said he and his wife knew something strange was going on, but they weren't sure what it was.
Matt's statement (through his attorneys) was issued after jurors began deliberating on Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse case.
Sandusky was arrested last November in a huge scandal that led to the firing of Penn State coach Joe Paterno, ESPN reports. Paterno died in January of cancer.
During his closing argument Thursday, deputy attorney general Joseph McGettigan III showed jurors the pictures of 8 smiling boys who accused Sandusky of abuse. These boys, all grown men now, testified at the trial. Jurors also heard about two other men who Sandusky allegedly abused.
"He knows he did it and you know he did it. Find him guilty of everything," McGettigan implored the jury.
Sandusky's defense team charged back that the prosecution was so determined to get a guilty verdict, they probably "coached witnesses."
Sandusky is accused of abusing boys he met through Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youth, BBC News reports. Matt Sandusky was involved in the charity.
He allegedly abused these boys in his home, at hotels, and in the athletic facilities at Penn State.
His attorney Joe Amendola argued that the accusers' stories didn't make any sense. The accusers all frequented Sandusky's house and went to football games with him, ESPN reports.
"Folks, you have to use your common sense," Amendola said. "Jerry Sandusky took these kids everywhere. Is that what a pedophile does? Does he parade these kids around?"
Deputy attorney general Joseph McGettigan said "you always have to accuse the victims. You always have to allege a conspiracy," The New York Times reports. "The great thing about conspiracy theories," McGettigan said, "is that they collapse of their own weight."
The closing arguments came after 7 days of testimony. Jerry Sandusky did not testify, ESPN reports.
Judge John M. Cleland ordered the jury to be sequestered while it deliberates, The New York Times reports. He said if they don't reach a verdict by Friday, deliberations will have to go into the weekend. He also said to remember that just because these kids may have felt uncomfortable in certain situations with Sandusky, they have to determine whether or not Sandusky intended to act in a sexually abusive manner.
He told the jury that it's not necessarily a crime for a man to shower with a boy. Many of Sandusky's accusers say he showered with them. "The critical question in those instances is whether the adult makes the contact for sexual arousal," the judge said.
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