Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Character witnesses come to Jerry Sandusky's aid

Joyce Porter, a friend and avid supporter of Jerry Sandusky from State College, speaks to the media outiside the courthouse.  Porter testified for the defense Tuesday, June 19, 2012, for the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse trial, at the Centre County Courthouse, in Bellefonte, Pa.  Centre Daily Times/Nabil K. Mark
Joyce Porter, a friend and avid supporter of Jerry Sandusky from State College, speaks to the media outiside the courthouse. Porter testified for the defense Tuesday, June 19, 2012, for the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse trial, at the Centre County Courthouse, in Bellefonte, Pa. Centre Daily Times/Nabil K. Mark

Jurors in the Jerry Sandusky case heard from a string of defense witnesses Tuesday, including character witnesses, former Second Mile participants and retired Penn State professors.

Among those called to the stand:

"All the people I know who know Jerry think he's a wonderful man," said Joyce Porter, a longtime friend of the Sanduskys.

Sandusky smiled during her testimony, and she shook his hand during a recess.

Retired Penn State civil engineering professor Jack Willenbrock testified Sandusky is an "excellent" person he got to know when they were neighbors living in Lemont.

"Among our children, among our grandchildren, Jerry Sandusky is a father figure and he's also respected for what he did professionally," Willenbrock said.

Elaine Steinbaucher, a former Second Mile officer, said she was at the Sanduskys' home in summer 2009 when alleged victim No. 4 came over with his young child. Steinbaucher said she told Dottie Sandusky, "You're going to see a lot of him."

That man, who testified last week, gave a very different account, saying he only visited the Sanduskys to try to appease concerns from his girlfriend.

Steinbaucher spoke highly of Sandusky.

"We all just revere Jerry," she said. "We think the world of him."

James Martin, now a medical doctor, went to Penn State, where as a wrestler he won a national championship at 126 pounds one year. Martin testified about meeting Sandusky and becoming good friends with him.

His testimony included a poem Sandusky wrote for him: "Thanks for brightening our life from above. Thanks for giving so much love."

Martin said he knew of one instance when Sandusky was planning to shower with a young boy after a workout.

Lance Mehl, a former Nittany Lions and New York Jets standout linebacker, called Sandusky "a class act."

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