Jury to get case today ... Defense rests without Sandusky|
Thursday, June 21, 2012
By Terry Whetstone Staff Writer
BELLEFONTE - A young man testified for the defense in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial yesterday just prior to having the defense rest.
David Hilton, 21, of Lancaster said he met Sandusky in the Second Mile Club when he was in fifth grade, when he was 10 or 11 years old. He said Sandusky was at a speaking engagement in his hometown.
Hilton said he got a call a day or two later from Sandusky asking him to go with him, so they went swimming. After that they began "hanging out."
He said Sandusky would take him on trips. One he recalled was a trip to San Francisco for a week.
Hilton said he stayed at the Sandusky home many times, sleeping in the bedroom in the basement. He said his parents are both deaf and Sandusky has helped him out a great deal. He helped him get a gym membership in his hometown and he helped him get a job.
Back in school, Hilton said he did not want to take academics, but Sandusky persisted and today Hilton is glad he did.
The witness said he was interviewed by the police several times.
"I think they were trying to get me to say something that wasn't true," he said. "Or to try and trip me up."
On cross examination, Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan III asked Hilton if he had an attorney and he said he did not, but his uncle, Timothy Burns, said he would get him one if he needed one.
McGettigan also asked Hilton if he had told him anything he should or should not say, to which he replied "No, you're a pretty cool guy."
On re-direct, Karl Rominger, defense attorney for Sandusky, asked Hilton if anything inappropriate ever happened between he and Sandusky.
Hilton paused, put his head down, blushed and simply stated "No."
Prior to Hilton's testimony, the defense called Dr. John Dranov to the stand. He has been a friend of the McQueary family for several years. Rominger asked him if he recalled the night in 2002 when John McQueary called and asked him to come to his home.
"He didn't want to talk on the phone," Dranov said. "But I could tell something was wrong so I went over."
He recalled what Mike McQueary said about hearing sexual slapping sounds in the shower when he went to put new sneakers in his locker. He recalled McQueary telling him he saw a young child and Sandusky in the shower together when he heard those sounds.
Rominger said, "No one called the police or anything." He asked why the authorities were not called. Dranov said Mike McQueary knew he had to tell someone and he did tell his superior, Joe Paterno.
Dranov said he kept asking Mike McQueary what he saw and he said he kept saying he heard slapping sounds and then he would get upset.
The defense also brought Chad Reskoff to the stand who said he was in the Second Mile from the age of 10 until he was 15 and, since he had no father, Sandusky filled that void. He said Sandusky would take him to various football and baseball games and help him with other things.
Reskoff said he got to know Sandusky when he had to do a writing assignment where he needed to write a letter to someone he admired.
He said he loved Penn State football, so he wrote to the players and the coaches. Sandusky wrote back to him as did many of the players. He said that is how he met Sandusky and they hit it off.
The defense rested at almost noon yesterday.
Sandusky did not take the stand.
Yesterday morning, Judge John Cleland said juror No. 6 had called in because she was too sick to attend. Cleland said she had been excused and juror No. 13, the first alternate, took her place.
Closing arguments were set to begin at 9 a.m. today.
Cleland will then charge the jury so they can begin deliberations.