(Note: explicit sexual content)
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Defense lawyers sought to discredit the prosecution's case in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse trial on Tuesday by suggesting investigators had coached testimony from one of the former Penn State assistant football coach's alleged victims.
Asked as he arrived at court whether he would put Sandusky on the witness stand as the trial entered its final stages, defense attorney Joe Amendola told reporters: "Stay tuned. Come on, it's like a soap, you have to wait and see."
"Is it 'Days of Our Lives?'" a reporter asked in return, referring to a long-running U.S. daytime television drama.
"I think it's 'General Hospital,'" Amendola answered. Then, a moment later, after returning from parking his car, he quipped, "Actually it could be 'All My Children.'"
Amendola said previously that Sandusky would testify.
In the court room, Amendola took aim at law enforcement officers' testimony that they had not discussed abuse accounts offered by fellow accusers with other alleged victims in the closely watched case.
Amendola questioned Pennsylvania state trooper Corporal Scott Rossman and retired trooper Joseph Leiter about a taped interview they held with one of the accusers, known in court documents as Victim 4, and his attorney in April 2011.
The interview was played in court and Leiter was heard saying to Victim 4 during a break that investigators had interviewed about nine other potential victims. In some cases "oral sex has taken place by both parties," which would be considered rape under state law, he said.
Leiter could be heard saying telling the accuser that his story "word for word" followed those of others. "He has taken advantage of you. We need you to tell us what happened," Leiter is heard saying.
Under cross examination by a prosecutor, Leiter said he considered the interview technique to be appropriate and never suggested to a victim what he should say.
It was the second day of the defense case after the prosecution rested its case on Monday. Earlier defense witnesses sought to vouch for Sandusky's good character. Judge John Cleland told jurors on Monday he expected closing arguments to take place on Thursday.
Eight alleged victims, now men aged 18 to 28, testified for the prosecution last week, describing in often graphic detail being molested by Sandusky as boys, including oral and anal sex and shared showers.
Sandusky, 68, the former defensive coordinator for Pennsylvania State University's long-successful football program, is accused of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, some at university facilities. Two of the boys have never been identified.
Sandusky faces 51 counts of child molestation after the prosecution dropped one charge of unlawful contact with minors on Monday. If convicted on all counts, the former defensive coordinator for Pennsylvania State University's successful football program faces a sentence of more than 500 years in prison.
Two university officials also face charges of perjury and failure to report suspected abuse in an alleged incident involving Sandusky and a boy at a Penn State locker room.
The charges against Sandusky focused renewed national attention on the issue of child sexual abuse and prompted the firing in November of Penn State President Graham Spanier and legendary head football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno died of lung cancer in January.
(Editing by Paul Thomasch and Will Dunham)