Witness details abuse by Sandusky|
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
By Terry Whetstone Staff Writer
BELLEFONTE - Jerry Sandusky sat in court yesterday as the first day of his trial got under way with testimony from one of his alleged victims. Prior to testimony, during his opening statement, Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan III showed photographs of the alleged victims as boys, when they were part of Jerry Sandusky's children's charity, The Second Mile.
And although the alleged victims will state their names for the court record, they will be referred to as victims, numbers 1-10.
Victim No. 4 took the stand as the first witness in the trial against the former assistant Penn State football coach charged with 52 sex crimes against 10 boys over an extend period of time.
Victim No. 4, who grew up in Snow Shoe and is now 28, left little to the imagination as he told the jury of five men and seven women everything that took place from the time he was about 13 years old.
He said he was referred to The Second Mile by his elementary school guidance counselor. The first year he was in the camp he went to Reading, the next year he was on campus at Penn State. He said he did not know who Jerry Sandusky was at the time, but his roommate did and he briefly met Sandusky when he once entered the room to talk to his roommate.
A short time later Sandusky contacted him for the first time and asked if he would like to do stuff, "anything at all," he said.
Victim No. 4 said he told Sandusky that he would and shortly after that he was contacted by Sandusky and they went to a family picnic, and another time to State College where they played racquetball.
He said the first time they went into the coaches locker room and changed into a T-shirt and shorts then played racquetball. When they were done, they went into the locker room and showered together.
"I thought that was kind of weird," he said.
They did that the next time, and eventually things escalated.
The witness said that as they traveled in the car, Sandusky "would put his hand on my leg, basically like I was his girlfriend. It freaked me out extremely bad."
He said he would push his hand away. "I pushed it away. After a little while, it would come right back. That drove me nuts."
The victim said he was probably 100 pounds soaking wet, and while showering Sandusky would start a "soap battle" which would escalate into Sandusky pinning him to the shower floor leading to, at times, oral sex and other events.
"I was powerless against him," he said.
He said Sandusky would usually end the "wrestling" with one or the other having their head between the other's legs. He said Sandusky would rub his genitals on his face and try to force him into performing a sex act.
"What happened in the shower was never talked about, like it never happened," he said.
He admitted he never told Sandusky to stop because he said Sandusky was always buying him stuff, snow boards, and football jerseys, and all kinds of things plus taking him to football games and bowl games. He said he did not want that to end, it was things he really enjoyed.
The young man said he did not really have a father figure in his life, and "Jerry was like a dad to me," he said.
Victim No. 4 said his father was not around much as he was growing up, his parents were separated and his mother was remarried.
He said he did not get along with his stepfather so he stayed mostly with his grandmother, who lived nearby.
He said Sandusky would fill that void, and he took him to football games and let him hang out on the sidelines with the team and said it was a great feeling to be so popular.
When he got into high school fellow classmates were "jealous" and they'd pick on him and call him names.
McGettigan presented a number of letters to the young man who said they were written by Sandusky. Victim No. 4 said he could tell by the handwriting.
At one point McGettigan showed him a few letters which the young man said he never received, but McGettigan went on, until Carl Rominger, council for Sandusky, objected.
Senior Judge John Cleland sustained the objection and told McGettigan to get on with it.
The alleged victim told the jury he did not like the Sandusky book "Touched" because he was referenced in it quite a bit and was not comfortable with that.
A large movie screen in the courtroom was used to project photos and letters, and one letter shown was handwritten on Penn State letterhead and signed "Jerry."
It read: "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."
As Victim No. 4 grew up and began spending time with a girlfriend, he said he became "basically sick of what was happening to me" and he tried to distance himself from Sandusky. They last spoke in 2002.
Under cross-examination by Joe Amendola, attorney for Sandusky, the man expressed regret for not coming forward earlier, saying, "I thought I was the only one this was happening to. I feel if I just said something back then ... I feel responsible for what happened to other victims." He said he had spent years burying it in the back of his head.
The victim said he never talked about what happened, he was ashamed of it and tried to hide it.
When news of the assaults broke, he was sleeping and received a phone call from his dad, who told him that his buddy was in trouble.
He said his dad told him Sandusky was being investigated for molesting kids, "And I told him, ‘that's not really a surprise.'"
His dad put two and two together and told him he should consult a lawyer; shortly after that an attorney showed up at his home.
During the cross-examination the victim told Amendola that sex-related incidents happened about 50 times.