BELLEFONTE — A legal expert sitting in on the Jerry Sandusky trial said the challenges for the former Penn State coachs defense team are growing as each witness takes the stand.
If this were just a he said, he said this would be a much harder case for the prosecution to bring, said Wesley Oliver, a professor at Widener University Law School.
But each victims testimony has very interesting consistencies, he said. The big parts are all different, and the little parts are all the same.
The alleged victims have described a similar start to the alleged abuse they say they experienced.
Three witnesses testified Wednesday that Sandusky touched and squeezed their legs
while driving them to Penn State football games or to his home.
For some, it would allegedly escalate to oral sex or anal penetration. Others testified the alleged abuse didnt go that far.
Defense attorney Joe Amendola told jurors in his opening arguments Monday there are no victims in this case. He suggested the witnesses had financial motivations.
Every one of these witnesses says it starts with touching of the leg, Oliver said. Three of four said an early scene occurs in water.
If you were to try to link these stories all together, you would say, He had oral sex with all of us in the basement or in the shower, Oliver continued. Thats what the consistent part would be.
A 23-year-old man, identified as victim 5, testified Wednesday he was able to escape further abuse after Sandusky cornered him in a shower on the Penn State campus and pressed up against him.
The witness, who was 12 years old when the alleged incident occurred, doesnt claim it went further than that.
Its interesting to me the consistent part is the beginning, Oliver said. I dont think thats what a whole bunch of people trying to concoct a tale would seize upon to coordinate.
Tom Kline, the civil attorney for victim 5, told a throng of reporters outside the Centre County Courthouse on Wednesday that alleged victims testimony has been corroborative.
I believe there is a cumulative power in what weve seen, Kline said. Its all come together as a web here.
His client was the third alleged victim to testify Wednesday, and the fifth overall in the trial. Kline said he believes the similarities in the young mens statements will be difficult for defense attorneys to overcome.
It appears to me that we have a story that seamlessly fits together of a pattern of conduct that starts out with putting the hand on the knee and taking the boys into the shower, he said. Its not one, its not two, and its only going to grow.
Gunner Gleason, a veteran defense attorney from Cambria County who is not involved in the Sandusky case, said the prosecution is developing a strong case.
The witnesses seem to be able to handle the pressures of being in the courtroom, Gleason said. For the most part, theyve been unflappable.
State College attorney Matt McClenahen called the alleged victims testimony an onslaught against the defense.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter