Jurors in the Jerry Sandusky case broke their deliberation late Thursday night after telling the judge they wanted to listen to the two-hour testimony of Mike McQueary.
In all, the jury of seven women and five men deliberated for more than eight hours Thursday, leaving the Centre County Courthouse around 10 p.m. for a local hotel where they’ll be sequestered until court resumes this morning at 9.
The jury got the case after the defense argued that Sandusky is the target of a conspiracy, and prosecutors dismissed that idea as absurd, saying testimony showed Sandusky is a “serial predatory pedophile.”
Hours into deliberations, Sandusky’s adopted son Matt came forward to say he had been a victim, too. The jury did not hear that in seven days of testimony.
In a brief evening court session late Thursday, Cleland said the jury had asked at 7:40 p.m. to hear the testimony from prosecution witness Mike McQueary and defense witness Dr. Jonathan Dranov. The two testimonies are related to the infamous 2001 Penn State shower incident that ultimately cost Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and president Graham Spanier their jobs.
McQueary testified he saw Sandusky in an “extremely sexual” situation with a young boy but didn’t see actual intercourse.
Cleland suggested the jury listen to McQueary’s testimony this morning because it will take more than two hours to replay.
The testimony of McQueary and Dranov was not entirely consistent.
Dranov testified that McQueary didn’t use graphic terms when describing the incident to him and his father, John McQueary Sr., on Feb. 9, 2001.
Mike McQueary and Dranov also gave differing accounts about what McQueary said he saw. Dranov said McQueary told him the young boy was pulled back into the shower, but McQueary denied having said that.
It wasn’t clear if the jury heard the 20 minutes of Dranov’s testimony Thursday night or would hear it this morning.
Earlier Thursday, Cleland gave the jury instructions on how to weigh the evidence.
“That decision is now in your hands, and we will await your verdict,” Cleland said, before having them escorted out of the courtroom.
Cleland said while some behavior — including oral sex between a man and a boy — is obviously a crime, other behavior is more ambiguous.
Showering with a boy, for example, is not necessarily a crime, he said.
“You may believe (Sandusky) exercised poor judgment. But poor judgment does not in and of itself amount to criminality,” Cleland said.
Cleland said jurors must decide whether Sandusky had criminal intent and sexual desire when he committed the alleged acts.
“The issue is not what the child felt,” Cleland said. “The issue is what the defendant intended.”
Cleland told jurors they can find Sandusky guilty on all counts, not guilty of the counts or guilty of some of them.
He gave them a broad overview of their duties, and reviewed what they need to consider when reaching their verdict on each of the charges.
“We all rely on your integrity and your good judgment,” he said.
Secondly, he said, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The state does not have to eliminate all doubt, just reasonable doubt.
“We make few decisions in life that are free from all doubt,” Cleland said.
Jurors appeared to listen carefully as Cleland spoke for about 40 minutes.
Also Thursday, Cleland dismissed two felony counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and one count of aggravated indecent assault related to alleged victim No. 4 with prejudice, meaning prosecutors can’t refile the charges.
One of the involuntary deviate sexual intercourse counts was a duplicate, Cleland wrote in an order.
As for the other two charges, Cleland wrote that he dismissed them because no testimony was presented that showed evidence that Sandusky performed anal sex or digital penetration on alleged victim No. 4. Cleland said the man’s testimony was that Sandusky “attempted” to do those things.
Cleland denied the prosecution’s request to file attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges.
Cleland also denied the defense’s request to dismiss counts related to alleged victim No. 8, an unidentified boy in a shower on whom, a janitor testified, Sandusky performed oral sex.
Until a verdict is reached, he said, the jurors will be sequestered, which means no use of cellphones, telephones, laptop computers or any kind of electronic devices. The televisions and telephones in their hotel rooms will be turned off.
The jury was given the case around 1:15 p.m. and re-entered the courtroom right before 8:30 p.m., before ending deliberations about an hour later.