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Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - Page updated at 10:00 p.m.

Jerry Sandusky's wife takes the stand in trial | College football

By The New York Times and The Associated Press

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — For more than a week, prosecutors and the witnesses they called depicted life inside the Sanduskys' house in State College, Pa., not as the warm refuge for a stream of children the outside world saw, but as a place of horrors where Jerry Sandusky sexually abused one young boy after another.

The abuse, the accusers have testified, often took place in the household basement. It happened on weekends and during the week, they said, and went on for years.

On Tuesday, Dorothy Sandusky — loyal wife, partner in charitable work, mother to six adopted children and an adult in the house prosecutors have portrayed so darkly — took the witness stand.

Nervous, often wide-eyed, she spoke of her marriage and her husband, a former Penn State assistant coach, and her belief Jerry's goal had always been to help not hurt children, inside her home or anywhere else. For about 40 minutes, she hunched forward and 12 jurors leaned forward to hear her.

At one point, Sandusky, 69, was asked if she had ever seen inappropriate contact between her husband and the many young boys he met through the charity for disadvantaged children that he ran.

She paused. The courtroom was virtually silent.

She said the only time she could recall, it was a boy being overly affectionate with her husband.

Jurors had heard differently from eight men who claim they were assaulted by Jerry Sandusky in their youth. One testified Dorothy Sandusky nearly walked in on an assault in a hotel bathroom. Another said he had cried out from the Sanduskys' basement as he was being raped, hoping she might hear him and take action.

Joseph Amendola, a lawyer for Jerry Sandusky, zeroed in on that testimony with Dorothy Sandusky.

"Is your basement soundproof?" Amendola asked.

"No," she said, with a chuckle.

"How's your hearing?"

She said her hearing was fine, and went on to testify she never heard any such cry for help — and that if it had happened, she surely would have heard.

In her testimony she said she knew several of the accusers, some well. Some of them, she said, were "clingy" around her husband. Nearly all would stay overnight in the Sandusky home and her husband "would tell them good night," she said.

Jerry Sandusky, 68, is charged with 51 criminal counts related to 10 alleged victims over a 15-year span.

Note

• A judge sentenced former Auburn receiver Antonio Goodwin, 21, to 15 years in prison for an armed home-invasion robbery in Auburn, Ala., in March 2011.

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