Alleged Victim Testifies in Sandusky Trial
The first witness to testify in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial was an alleged victim who detailed years of abuse he says he endured. He talked about sexual abuse that he said happened a few times a week.
The alleged victim from the Snow Shoe area of Centre County testified about how he met Sandusky through The Second Mile back in 1997. The alleged victim was 13 at the time.
He went on to talk about showering with Sandusky in locker rooms on the Penn State campus. He told jurors what started as a simple shower turned into sexual abuse that happened several times a week for years.
The man, now in his late 20s said what started as simple showering, turned into wrestling with soap and that wrestling would end with the boy pinned on the ground.
He testified that many times, that is when Sandusky would attempt to put his penis into the boy’s mouth. He said that happened around 40 times over times over several years. He said Sandusky would put the boy’s hands onto his private parts too.
The alleged victim also testified about staying with Sandusky in hotels on the nights before games. He said he would wake up to the sensation of Sandusky rubbing his hands over the boy’s body.
He said every time they rode in the car from the early time he met him, Sandusky would place his hand on the boy’s thigh.
“He put his hand on my leg, basically like I was his girlfriend,” the alleged victim testified. “He’d squeeze every now and then. That freaked me out so much, I couldn’t stand it. That just drove me nuts.”
This alleged victim said he never said anything because Sandusky was bringing him to the sideline at Penn State football games, allowing him to meet all the Penn State players, and doing things he could never do because he was living with his grandmother and had a troubled home life. He said Sandusky gave him many gifts, including Penn State memorabilia that came from players and coaches.
“This was something good happening to me. I never had a father figure around. I was liking everything that I was getting,” he testified. “Other kids were jealous at the time.”
He said that is why he never told anyone about what was happening because he was afraid that would all end. He said he and Sandusky never talked about the abuse outside of the showers or at other times.
A photo was shown to the jury of the boy with Sandusky and some family dogs. The boy was less than half Sandusky’s size in the picture. There were also photos shown of the boy with Penn State football players and coaches.
The prosecution presented a series of letters that red like love letters that the alleged victim said Sandusky sent to him. One started: “I know that I have made my share of mistakes, however I hope that I will be able to say that I cared. There has been love in my heart. My wish is that you can and have loved me.”
The prosecution also put into evidence a contract between Sandusky and the alleged victim that promised the boy money if he did well in school and kept participating in programs from The Second Mile with Sandusky. The alleged victim said he did get some money in return after the contract.
The alleged victim said as he started to get older, he got a girlfriend and got sick of the abuse. He said he would tell his grandma he wasn’t home if Sandusky called. He said at times he hid in the closet at home if Sandusky showed up so he wouldn’t have to hang out with him.
The victim went on to testify that he never wanted to tell anyone about what happened. There was this exchange between him and prosecutor Joe McGettigan, “Did you want to talk to police? No. Did you want to be involved? No, I don’t even want to be involved now, to be honest.”
Upon cross examination, defense attorney Joe Amendola asked why the alleged victim was testifying. The man replied, ”I spent so many years burning this in the back of my head. I thought I was the only person. I came to terms with that and just wanted it to go away. Then I found the same thing was happening over and over and over again. If I had just said something back then, nothing would have happened to those other victims. I feel responsible.”