Sandusky Accuser Says He Once Screamed for Help
Bellefonte, PA (AP) - June 14, 2012 --
The last of Jerry Sandusky's accusers has testified that he spent more than a hundred nights in the former Penn State coach's home and that he was forced into sex with him in a basement the boy thought was soundproof.
After the teen's testimony Thursday, Judge John Cleland said trial would resume Monday. Prosecutors haven't yet rested their case.
The now-18-year-old accuser was the last of eight people to testify that Sandusky sexually abused him. He says his mother summoned police to their home to talk to him after Sandusky's arrest in November 2011.
The teenager says he screamed out for help at least once when Sandusky's wife was in the house, but he did not know if she heard him.
The accuser says Sandusky took him to Penn State football games and gave him gifts.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
A state investigator says authorities identified some of Jerry Sandusky's alleged abuse victims through pictures and lists seized from his home and office.
Anthony Sassano, an investigator with the state attorney general's office, also testified Thursday that Penn State University was "not very quick" in getting investigators information as part of the probe.
Earlier Thursday, one of the alleged victims testified that the former Penn State assistant football coach called himself the "tickle monster" while lathering his back and embracing him in an on-campus shower.
Another accuser who is now a member of the Army National Guard described frequent sleepovers at Sandusky's home that included the ex-coach rubbing his body and touching his penis.
The defense has claimed that the accusers have financial motives, but they've all denied that.
Sandusky Jury Hears Abuse Claims About Unknown Boy
Bellefonte, PA (AP) -- June 13, 2012 --
Jurors in Jerry Sandusky's trial are hearing about the alleged sexual abuse of a boy whose identity is unknown to prosecutors.
The testimony began Wednesday afternoon after the judge ruled that co-workers can tell the jurors about what a janitor reported seeing in the Penn State showers.
The janitor, Jim Calhoun, has dementia and isn't able to take the stand.
Ron Petrosky says that when he encountered Calhoun in a football team locker room more than a decade ago, the janitor told him he'd seen Sandusky making a boy perform oral sex on him.
Petrosky says Calhoun's face was white and his hands were trembling.
The 68-year-old Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, is fighting 52 criminal counts for alleged abuse of 10 boys over 15 years.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
One, a foster child, said he was threatened, warned he would never see his family again if he ever told anyone what happened. Another said he stayed quiet because he didn't want to stop getting tickets to the hottest game in town - Penn State football.
That was how two of Jerry Sandusky's alleged victims explained the former Penn State assistant coach's hold over them.
"He told me that if I ever told anyone that I'd never see my family again," the former foster child testified Wednesday on Day 3 of Sandusky's child sexual abuse trial.
He said Sandusky uttered the threat after the coach pinned him while wrestling in the basement of the Sandusky home and performed oral sex on him.
Sandusky, 68, is charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period - accusations he has denied. His arrest last fall rocked Penn State and led to the firing of football coach Joe Paterno for not taking stronger action against Sandusky a decade ago.
Three of Sandusky's accusers testified Wednesday as of midafternoon, bringing to five the number of alleged victims to take the stand.
Tom Kline, the lawyer for one of them, told reporters outside the courthouse: "It's just remarkable how many children one man can shower with."
The 25-year-old man who told jurors about the threat to keep him away from his biological family said he believed Sandusky's wife, Dottie, was inside the home, on a different floor, at the time. A foster child placed with another family, he occasionally stayed in the Sanduskys' basement in State College in the late 1990s.
Speaking in a calm but sometimes hesitant voice, he said Sandusky later apologized for the threat: "He told me he didn't mean it and that he loved me."
The man, identified in court papers as Victim 5, said Sandusky also assaulted him on other occasions in 1998 and 1999, including once at a pool and another time in the basement. He said he was about 11 at the time.
An expressionless Sandusky sat mostly still at the defense table during his testimony, occasionally turning his head to look the accuser in the eye.
The alleged victim is one of two who came forward after Sandusky was initially charged in November with assaulting eight boys. Sandusky's attorneys have suggested his accusers have financial reasons for coming forward.
Under cross-examination, the man testified that he was the roommate of another Sandusky accuser at a camp sponsored by Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile. He also acknowledged spending nearly two years in prison for a robbery and involvement with drugs and alcohol, but said he is doing better now.
"I'm married. I'm expecting" a child, he said.
Another man, identified as Victim 10, said he met Sandusky at Second Mile Camp in 1999 and began attending Penn State games with Sandusky and others. In 2001, he said, Sandusky asked him to work out at a gym on campus and then groped him in the showers.
Afterward, the 23-year-old man said, Sandusky drove him home and made "no eye contact" with him. They had no contact since. He only told someone - his girlfriend - about the alleged abuse about a year ago, he said.
Another witness, identified as Victim 7, said he was 10 when he met Sandusky through the charity in 1995. He said Sandusky showered with him repeatedly and embraced him during sleepovers.
Sandusky was "wrapping himself around me, holding me tightly" when he slept over at his house, the 27-year-old man said. He said he now has an aversion to chest hair because of his contact with a sometimes-shirtless Sandusky.
The accuser also described Sandusky rubbing his nipples and touching him beneath his shorts.
The man recalled attending Penn State football games with Sandusky's family and receiving free tickets from Sandusky as recently as 2009.
"I wanted to go to games. I tried to block that stuff out and focus on the positives," he said.
He said he told his parents of the abuse only last year, after being approached by police. He likened blocking out the negative memories to "putting staff in the attic."
During cross-examination, defense attorney Joseph Amendola noted that the man's testimony was more detailed than what he told a grand jury last year. The witness replied that he had started going to counseling.
"Talking about different events and through talking about things in my past, different things have triggered different memories," he said.
Penn State Witness Says He Saw Shower Incident
Bellefonte, PA (AP) -- June 12, 2012 --
A former Penn State assistant coach whose account led to Joe Paterno's downfall told a jury Tuesday that he heard a "skin-on-skin smacking sound" in a campus locker room one night in 2001 and saw something that was "more than my brain could handle."
There was Jerry Sandusky standing naked in the showers behind a boy, slowly moving his hips, Mike McQueary testified. He said he had no doubt he was witnessing anal sex.
McQueary, one of the star witnesses in the child sexual abuse case against Sandusky, testified that he slammed his locker shut loudly as if to say, "Someone's here! Break it up!"
Then, he said, he went upstairs to his office to try to make sense of what he had seen.
Sandusky, 68, is on trial on charges he molested 10 boys over a 15-year period. Authorities say he abused them in hotels, at his home and inside the football team's quarters. The former assistant coach and founder of an acclaimed youth charity has denied the allegations.
Paterno was fired last fall, shortly after Sandusky's arrest, after it became known that McQueary had told the head football coach about the shower episode a decade ago. Two months after his dismissal, Paterno died of lung cancer at 85.
McQueary was composed during his testimony, and when was asked if he knew Sandusky, he looked right at him with a sharp glance that Sandusky returned.
McQueary's account differed little from the one he gave in December at a preliminary hearing for two Penn State administrators charged with failing to report the alleged episode to authorities. The one difference: He said it took place in 2001 instead of 2002.
Testifying on Day 2 of Sandusky's trial, McQueary said that he was at home, in bed, watching the movie "Rudy," when he decided to go to the football team building. He said he walked into the support staff locker room to put away a pair of new sneakers and, as he opened the door, heard a noise.
"Very much skin-on-skin smacking sound," he said. "I immediately became alert and was kind of embarrassed that I was walking in on something."
He said that he glanced over his shoulder at a mirror at a 45-degree angle and saw Sandusky "standing behind a boy who was propped up against a wall." He estimated the boy to be 10 to 12 years old. He said that the boy's hands were up on the wall and "the defendant's midsection was moving" subtly.
"The glance would have taken only one or two seconds. I immediately turned back to my locker to make sure I saw what I saw," he said.
After slamming his locker to make some noise, he left.
"It was more than my brain could handle," he said. "I was making decisions on the fly. I picked up the phone and called my father to get advice from the person I trusted most in my life, because I just saw something ridiculous."
He said he was very vague with his father, who told him to leave immediately.
McQueary said he went to Paterno's house the next morning and relayed what he had seen, but did not describe the act explicitly out of respect for the coach and his own embarrassment.
He said Penn State administrator Tim Curley called him a week later, and McQueary met with him and another school official, Gary Schultz. They "just listened to what I had said," McQueary testified. A week or two later, he said, Curley called him to say they had looked into it.
Earlier Tuesday, the teenager who triggered the grand jury investigation that rocked Penn State became the second of Sandusky's alleged victims to take the stand. He said that Sandusky kissed him, fondled him and engaged in oral sex with him during numerous sleepovers in the basement of Sandusky's home while the coach's wife was upstairs.
The accuser, labeled Victim No. 1 by a grand jury, said he confided in a school district guidance counselor that Sandusky was molesting him, only to be told: "He has a heart of gold, and he wouldn't do something like that."
"So they didn't believe me," the teenager said.
School officials ultimately referred the case to the county's child-welfare agency, which found his account credible.
Now 18, he told the jury about an early encounter with Sandusky that escalated to oral sex.
"I spaced," he said. "I didn't know what to do with all the thoughts running through my head, I just kind of blacked out and didn't want it to happen. I froze."
As he choked back tears, the sobbing teen told of another time Sandusky forced him to perform oral sex, after saying it was his "turn." And again, he said, he "froze." He added: "My mind is telling me to move, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't move."
The witness said he stayed quiet about the abuse, in part because his mother thought Sandusky was a positive influence, but he began trying to distance himself from Sandusky.
Sandusky became angry with him because they had drifted apart, and things escalated into an argument between the boy's mother and Sandusky, the teenager said.
"I got extremely, extremely scared," he said.
Eventually the teen asked his mother if there was a website used to track sex offenders because he wanted to see if Sandusky was on it. That led to a meeting with the guidance counselor.
Jessica Dershem, a child-welfare caseworker who spoke to Sandusky about the boy's claims, testified that the coach denied having sexual contact with the boy but did acknowledge lying on top of him and blowing "raspberries" on the boy's belly. Dershem said Sandusky told her he couldn't recall whether he had ever touched the boy below the waist.
During cross-examination, Sandusky attorney Joe Amendola asked the teen whether he had financial motives for bringing his accusations.
"All I know is I'm here to tell the truth about what happened to me, just like everybody else," he replied.
Amendola pressed the accuser about his initial statements to a counselor and later the grand jury that were less detailed than later testimony.
The teen, who graduated from high school last week, responded that it was an embarrassing subject to talk about.
"I don't believe anybody would want to talk about it," he said.
Sandusky didn't visibly react to the teen's account and looked straight ahead during his testimony.
Sandusky Witness Describes Abuse, 'Creepy' Letters
Bellefont, PA (AP) -- June 11, 2012 --
The first witness in Jerry Sandusky's trial said the former Penn State assistant football coach sexually abused him as a young teenager on campus and in hotels and later sent him "creepy love letters."
The witness, dubbed Victim No. 4 by prosecutors, said what began as "soap battles" in the shower escalated into inappropriate touching and oral sex. He said under cross-examination that he feels responsible for what happened to other alleged victims because he didn't come forward earlier.
The man, now 28, was the first of eight alleged victims expected to testify during the trial, which began Monday with opening statements.
Sandusky faces 52 criminal counts that he sexually abused 10 boys over 15 years, allegations he has denied. His arrest and the fallout led to departures of longtime football coach Joe Paterno and the university president.
The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan III opened Sandusky's highly anticipated trial Monday by telling jurors that the 68-year-old retired coach was a pedophile who took advantage of fatherless children or those with unstable home lives, plied them with gifts and sexually abused them for years.
Defense lawyer Joseph Amendola countered that some of the alleged victims had hired civil lawyers and had a financial interest in pursuing the criminal case.
Sandusky sat still as the first witness explained that he began showering with the former assistant coach in 1997, when he would have been about 13 years old. The man said he had met Sandusky through The Second Mile, the children's charity the assistant coach had founded.
The witness spoke calmly and firmly when questioned by McGettigan. Wearing a white shirt, dark tie and dark pants, he looked straight ahead at McGettigan during questioning. He gestured at times when asked to describe interactions with Sandusky.
"He would put his hand on my leg, basically like I was his girlfriend ... it freaked me out extremely bad," the man said, extending his right arm out and pushing it back and forth.
"I pushed it away ... after a little while, it would come right back. That drove me nuts," he said.
Instances in the shower, the man testified, escalated to the point where either Sandusky maneuvered himself so his head would be near the boy's genitals, or vice versa. The man testified that there were "a few occasions" where Sandusky ejaculated in the Penn State locker room showers.
Pictures of Sandusky and the then-boy were shown at times on a video screen. The man was asked to identify photos handed to him by McGettigan, including those with Penn State football players, but rarely looked over when the pictures were displayed on a screen large enough for jurors to see.
A self-described college football fan, the man said he enjoyed the access to Penn State football games and facilities. At one point, the man said, Sandusky let him wear the No. 11 uniform of LaVar Arrington. Prosecutors also showed a picture of the man, as a boy, with Arrington.
The man testified that Sandusky also took him to bowl trips including the Outback and Alamo bowls. He also gave him golf clubs, snowboards, drum sets and various Penn state memorabilia including a watch from the Orange Bowl, the man testified. He said he would wear gift jerseys to school.
The man said he stayed either at his mother's or grandmother's home at times. He never told his grandmother.
"No, no way. I was too scared to ... The other things were nice. I didn't want to lose that," he testified.
The witness said that, as he got older and after he got a girlfriend, he was "basically getting sick about what was happening to me."
He testified to one alleged interaction before a bowl game banquet in Texas, in a hotel bathroom before taking a shower, that Sandusky pushed down on him in a "downward motion."
The man said he resisted, when he testified that Sandusky responded, "You don't want to go back (home), do you?"
Asked by McGettigan to clarify, the man said "that he was trying to get me to have oral sex, and threatening me if not."
He said about 10 seconds later, Sandusky's wife, Dottie, called out from another room, and that an apparently surprised Sandusky left the bathroom.
Sandusky also sent the man letters, he testified. One shown briefly on a video screen in court was a handwritten on Penn State letterhead, signed "Jerry"
"I know that I have made my share of mistakes," the letter read. "However I hope that I will be able to say that I cared. There has been love in my heart."
The man described some of the correspondence as "creepy love letters ... Others would be, `Hey, do you want to come to a football game?' Those kinds of things."
Under cross-examination, the man said he was reluctant to cooperate with the investigation into Sandusky. He also said he had spent years "burying this in the back of my head."
"I thought I was the only person," he said. "I just came to terms with that and just wanted to go away."
Amendola also asked the man why he wasn't more forceful in shunning Sandusky earlier, and the witness replied that he didn't want to raise suspicion that might result if he cut ties suddenly.
He also expressed remorse, saying, "I feel if I just said something back then ... I feel responsible for what happened to other victims."
Amendola also pointed to a series of behavior contracts signed by both the witness and Sandusky. One such contract promised the witness money for post-high school education in exchange for participating in soccer, hockey, golf, as well getting grades no lower than a C and having no suspensions.
"Clearly this is a contract for me to be around him more often. There's even a part in there for me to come over to exercise with him three times a week," the man said, shrugging his shoulders.
Last week, the trial judge said the accusers couldn't testify under aliases. The Associated Press typically doesn't identify people who say they are victims of sex crimes.
During his opening statement, McGettigan told jurors he would prove that the abuse included oral and anal sex involving boys Sandusky met through The Second Mile and that it took place "not over days, not over weeks, not even over months, but in some cases over years."
McGettigan called The Second Mile, which Sandusky established in 1977, the "perfect environment for the predatory pedophile" and his way to get close to his victims.
Amendola said the young men who would take the stand were accusers, not victims. He said jurors may find it odd that Sandusky showered with children, but that it was innocuous, and part of Sandusky's upbringing.
"In Jerry's culture, growing up in his generation, where he grew up, he's going to tell you it was routine for individuals to get showers together," Amendola said. "I suspect for those of you who might have been in athletics, it's routine."
Amendola said the defense will argue that Mike McQueary, the football team assistant who reported seeing Sandusky naked in a shower in 2001, was mistaken about what he saw.
"We don't think Michael McQueary lied," Amendola told jurors. "Are you surprised? We don't think that he lied. What we think is that he saw something and made assumptions."
Amendola also told jurors that at least six of the alleged victims have civil lawyers, including several in the courtroom gallery on Monday.
"These young men had a financial interest in this case and pursuing this case," Amendola said.
The first witness, speaking calmly but forcefully in progressively tense questioning from Amendola, said he has never had any discussion about a civil suit.
He also testified that he hadn't had financial difficulties the last several years and that he didn't personally know other alleged accusers.