Hearsay testimony allowed ... More victims testify in the Sandusky trial|
Thursday, June 14, 2012
By Terry Whetstone Staff Writer
Editor's note: Some content in this story involves court testimony from alleged victims and a witness that is sexually explicit and graphic.
BELLEFONTE - Three more alleged victims took the stand to testify yesterday in the Jerry Sandusky trial being held in Bellefonte's Centre County Courthouse.
A 25-year-old man testified that in 1998 he lived in Moshannon with his mother, stepfather and stepbrother. He also for a time lived in a foster home in Milesburg.
Like the other boys who are alleged victims of Sandusky, Victim No. 10 met Sandusky through his Second Mile Camp. The alleged victim said his foster mother received a phone call from Sandusky asking if he could take the boy to a football game.
"Then one night we were wrestling in the basement," the witness said. "Mr. Sandusky pulled my shorts down and performed oral sex on me."
He said it happened about five times and he never told anyone because he was scared and embarrassed.
As he testified, Sandusky looked at the witness.
The man told Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan III that he was threatened by Sandusky after a sex act had occurred.
"He threatened me and told me that if I ever told anyone what happened, I'd never see my family again," the man said. "Later he apologized and told me he loved me."
As he was being cross-examined by defense attorney Joe Amendola, the young man said Sandusky picked him up at home once and took him to the Nittany Mall. Sandusky bought him clothes, shoes and a video game.
He said they went back to Sandusky's home and Sandusky performed a sex act on him, "and vice versa," the witness said.
Victim No. 10 also said once while he was in a silver convertible with Sandusky, Sandusky told him he wanted him to perform oral sex on him, and when the boy refused Sandusky got angry.
He testified that he never told anyone what happened because he was scared and embarrassed. However, when news of the Sandusky investigation broke, the young man said he called police and told them he had contact with Sandusky as a child.
Victim No. 7 took the stand and, like the other boys involved, the 27-year-old man from Milesburg told McGettigan he was referred to The Second Mile by his school guidance counselor in 1995.
He said it was at the natatorium when he met Sandusky. He said he got out of the pool and Sandusky approached him and asked if he would like to go to some Penn State games and such, and he told him yes.
The young man said Sandusky would pick him up on Friday nights and they would go to a high school football game then go to the Sandusky home for the night. According to the witness, at times, Sandusky would grab his knee and squeeze, hurting him. He said sometimes if he was wearing shorts, Sandusky would put his hand up the leg of his shorts. Once, when the boy was wearing jeans and a belt, Sandusky put his hand inside his pants and touched his private parts.
The alleged victim said when he stayed at the Sandusky home, he would sleep upstairs on something like an air mattress. He said he liked to read himself to sleep.
He said Sandusky would come upstairs and lay on the mattress behind him, press his chest to the victim's back and kind of cuddle with him.
The alleged victim said he was given a pair of mesh shorts to wear to bed but never took them home.
"I can remember his hairy chest pressed against my back," the young man said. "Because of that, to this day I'm repulsed by chest hair."
The witness said he was unsure how to handle what Sandusky was doing to him. He did not want to tell anyone, he did not know how his family would react and he did not want to lose the football tickets Sandusky was giving him.
He said that Sandusky would also wrap his arms around him and caress his chest and blow on his stomach. Then he would roll over and tell Sandusky he needed to go to sleep and Sandusky would leave him alone.
The alleged victim said he and Sandusky were throwing a football around one day, and although it wasn't anything strenuous, Sandusky insisted they shower before leaving. He said they undressed and showered but while in the shower, Sandusky shampooed his hair and started washing his shoulders and back, until the alleged victim told him to stop. Then when they exited the shower, Sandusky started to dry him off.
"I told him I could dry myself," the young man said.
There were about six different times that Sandusky showered with the boy, and at least once Sandusky put him in a bear hug, with his back to Sandusky's front.
He never told anyone what was going on because he did not want his parents to "freak out" and not let him go with Sandusky because he enjoyed going to the games.
On cross-examination, Amendola asked the alleged victim why he hired an attorney. The witness said so he could have some behind-the-scenes help with the legal matters and to keep the press away.
Amendola questioned him about differences in the grand jury testimony and the testimony he was giving yesterday.
The young man said it was because he had put what happened away in the back of his mind, and as he was being questioned more of those doors were opening and he was remembering more details.
Alleged Victim No. 5, who grew up with his parents in State College, next took the stand. The 23-year-old man told McGettigan he met Sandusky at the Second Mile. He said he was referred to the camp by his school guidance counselor to better develop his English.
While there, Sandusky performed a skit where he was a Polish dancer and the alleged victim told Sandusky afterward that he was also Polish.
When camp ended, his mother received a phone call from Sandusky asking if he could take the alleged victim to a football game. He said Sandusky would pick him up and take him to and from games.
He said Sandusky would put his hand on his knee but he did not think much about it because his dad had done that, too.
In 2001, Sandusky invited him to go "work out." He said he was not sure what that was, but he went along. He said Sandusky then took him into a sauna, where they were just wearing towels, but once inside, Sandusky removed his towel and exposed himself to the child.
They then went to shower, and the alleged victim said he went to a shower on the far end of the shower room and Sandusky was at the other end. But then he looked around and saw Sandusky standing close to him.
He said Sandusky then closed the gap between them and he was trapped in the corner.
"Then I felt his privates touch my back," the alleged victim said, sniffling and crying as he gave the details. "Then he ... he took my hand and put it on his. I tried to get away but I couldn't."
He said after that Sandusky drove him home and never spoke a word about the incident.
The alleged victim said he never told anyone because he was embarrassed and wanted to forget it. He said about a year ago, he finally told his girlfriend what happened.
Judge John Cleland then excused the jury to discuss testimony by the next witness.
Cleland overruled an objection to allow hearsay testimony and did allow it, partially because the person who made the comments was incapacitated and could not take the stand.
Ron Petrosky, a maintenance employee at the campus who cleans the staff locker room, took the stand. He said when he went in to clean in the fall of 2000, part-time employee Jim Calhoun was inside cleaning already. Petrosky went in with his cleaning materials and he heard the showers running. He didn't think anything of it because players often just leave them on when they are done.
He said he put his items down and saw two pairs of legs in the shower, one was an adult's legs and the other set resembled a child's legs.
He left the shower and was outside the room for about 10 minutes when he saw Sandusky and a child exit. Both had wet hair, as if they had just showered.
He said about three quarters of the way down the hallway, Sandusky took hold of the boy's hand and they left the facility together.
He noted it was the only way in or out of the room.
Petrosky headed in to do his work and he was met by Calhoun.
"He was shaking and white," Petrosky said. He asked Calhoun what was wrong and he said he had never seen anything that awful in all of his life.
Petrosky said Calhoun told him the man who just left had a child up against the wall and the man was performing a sexual act on the boy.
They called other coworkers, but no one ever notified the authorities.
After that, Petrosky said he saw Sandusky drive through the parking lot twice that night, very slow, without the child. Once was at approximately 10:30 p.m., the other at about 2:30 a.m.
Cleland told the jury at the end of the day, the trial is moving faster than anticipated and the prosecution should be able to wrap up by Friday.