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In Penn State Trial, Childhood Memories Of Abuse Prompt Tears, Angst

Publication Date: 
June 13, 2012
The Miami Herald
Curtis Tate

Professor Robert Weisberg spoke with Curtis Tate of the Miami Herald to discuss the defense strategy in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse trial.

Jurors in the Jerry Sandusky trial are hearing from witnesses who have struggled at times to recount the sexual abuses they say happened to them as children, a personally painful but legally necessary outpouring.

While the accusers' testimony is helping to build a case for the prosecution, it also offers Sandusky's defense the opportunity to raise questions about their motivations and to note inconsistencies in their stories in an effort to build reasonable doubt in the jurors' minds.


"Very often the sentiments are on the side of the victims," said Robert Weisberg, a criminal law expert who teaches at Stanford University. "But constitutionally, the sentiments are on the side of the defendant."


On Wednesday, Amendola continued to raise doubts about the accusers. He noted that "Victim 10" had spent time in prison for robbery and had problems with drugs and alcohol. The man, now 25, also was the roommate of another Sandusky accuser at a Second Mile camp. But Weisberg of Stanford said he didn't think these details did much to undermine the witnesses' credibility.