Just hours after the sex abuse trial of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky wrapped up on Thursday, his adopted son revealed that he had been "a victim of Jerry Sandusky's abuse" and had offered to testify against his father.
It is unclear whether prosecutors were prepared to put Matt Sandusky on the stand. But NBC News reports that Jerry Sandusky's defense team decided against having the former coach testify on his own behalf after they learned that prosecutors planned to call a new witness -- believed to be Matt Sandusky.
Earlier Thursday, the jury of seven women and five men began their deliberations on the 48 charges levied against Sundusky. They are sequestered and there have been no indication when they might deliver a verdict. Those jurors heard both Jerry Sandusky's defense attorney and the lead prosecutor in the case deliver pointed closing arguments. Defense attorney Joe Amendola painted the former coach as a man victimized by overagressive cops, social works and even the media. In response, Deputy Attorney General Joseph E. McGettigan III dismissed the concept that Jerry Sandusky was targeted by anyone - an idea that would have required dozens of people to conspire of more than a decade.
"It's not about conspiracies, it's not about time-travel conspiracies, it's not about people making financial fortunes," McGettigan said. "… It collapses under itself."
The explosive disclosure that Matt Sandusky had offered to testify came following the release of a statement from lawyers Andrew Shubin and Justine Andronici, who represent two alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky.
"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," the statement reads. "At Matt's request, we immediately arranged a meeting between him and the prosecutors and investigators."
The statement continued: "This has been an extremely painful experience for Matt and he has asked us to convey his request that the media respect his privacy."
[Slideshow: The Jerry Sandusky trial]
Matt Sandusky moved into the Sandusky home when he was 11, having been involved in Second Mile, the charity for troubled children founded by Jerry Sandusky in 1977. Prosecutors have said Jerry Sandusky used Second Mile to find his abuse victims. Earlier in the trial, it was disclosed that Matt Sandusky's former wife, Jill Jones, sought a restraining order in 2011 to prevent her former father-in-law from hosting sleep-overs with the couple's three young children. The Associated Press also reported that Matt Sandusky attempted to commit suicide in 1995, several months after he moved into the Sandusky home. Matt Sandusky's biological mother, Debra Long, has claimed that Jerry Sandusky effectively 'stole' her son, and told a grand jury considering the charges against the former coach that Matt was upset about staying with his adoptive father.
From combined staff and wire reports.
- Crime & Justice
- Politics & Government
- Jerry Sandusky