LaVar Arrington Apologizes to Alleged Sandusky Victim
Former Penn State football star LaVar Arrington is apologizing to an alleged victim of Jerry Sandusky, a day after the man testified in Centre County Court.
In a blog he writes for the Washington Post, Arrington said Tuesday that the start of the Sandusky trial made the case much more personal for him. The man known as Victim 4 in the case testified Monday about being abused for years by Sandusky back in the late 1990s when he was around age 13. At the time Arrington was a superstar player on the Nittany Lions.
The alleged victim repeatedly testified about spending time with Arrington and wearing the star defender’s Penn State jerseys that the boy got as gifts from Sandusky. There were photos of the boy and Arrington shown during the testimony. There were also photos of the then 13 year-old wearing an Arrington jersey.
Arrington wrote in his blog “Hard Hits” that the scandal that followed Sandusky’s arrest back in November affected him greatly. Now, he says he realizes he has a much closer connection to the case.
“Now my sadness and disappointment are growing as I realize that I knew this young man fairly well but didn’t grasp the full extent of what he was going through,” wrote Arrington.
Those in the courtroom learned the name and saw the face of Victim 4 on Monday. Newswatch 16 does not identify victims of sexual abuse. Through that testimony and that identification in the courtroom, though, Arrington wrote that he realized the connection he had with the boy back in the late 1990s.
“Everything that has happened has aged me a few years, as I’m sure it has many others,” wrote Arrington who has been very outspoken about the Penn State scandal.
Victim 4 testified Monday that he felt like the Penn State team mascot thanks to all the access provided by Sandusky. The man who is now in his late 20s said he met Sandusky through The Second Mile. The alleged victim testified that he continued to endure years of abuse at the hand of Sandusky because he loved the gifts and access to Penn State football provided by Sandusky and feared speaking up about the sexual assaults.
Arrington wrote he remembers seeing the boy around the football program all the time. He said he noticed that the boy often seemed angry. Arrington wrote that he just figured that was a result of the boy being from a troubled home. Most kids involved in The Second Mile came from tough backgrounds.
“I can’t believe after all these years I’d feel so bad about a kid that I hadn’t thought about since I left school. But of course I do,” wrote Arrington.
In the blog, Arrington offers his apology to the boy.
“My anguish and disappointment doesn’t compare to that of the victims. All I can do is hope that Victim 4 finds this entry and can see that I’m offering my sincerest apologies. I am so sorry this happened,” wrote the well-known Penn State alumnus.