Posted on Thu, Jun. 14, 2012
last updated: June 14, 2012 01:20:56 PM
Editors note: This story contains graphic content of a sexual nature from court testimony.
Two more alleged victims took the stand this morning in the trial of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Both said they had met Sandusky through The Second Mile.
The second alleged victim to testify this morning the seventh overall said he was sent to the charity for at-risk kids founded by Sandusky because of behavioral problems.
The young man, a sergeant in the Army National Guard who served a year in Iraq, is known as alleged victim No. 3 and testified for the prosecution. He said that Sandusky never performed oral sex on him and that the alleged abuse was fondling.
The man testified that he traveled with Sandusky on overnight trips to football camps and speaking engagements. He said he spent the night at Sandusky's home roughly 50 times.
On most of those occasions, he said, Sandusky had inappropriate contact with him in the basement.
"I didn't really think it was weird at the time," he said. "But he would come in and he'd have his shirt off. He'd ask why I'd want to sleep with all my clothes on."
The witness said he would strip down to his underwear. He said Sandusky would sit on the edge of the bed and try to make him laugh.
"Whenever he made me laugh he'd jump on the bed and start tickling me," the witness said. "He'd blow on my stomach and pelvis, other times he'd touch my penis."
The witness said he also showered with Sandusky. He testified that Sandusky would wash him and bear hug him in the shower after workouts. He said the touching made him uncomfortable, but that he didn't say anything because he wanted to remain close to Sandusky.
"He made me feel like I was part of something, a family," the witness said. "He gave me things I never had before. I just didn't want to give any of it up."
When prosecutor Joseph E. McGettigan III asked, "Did you like him?" the man said, "I loved him."
The man said the reason the relationship with Sandusky ended was that the witness was sent away to live in a group home. He was then placed in foster care. He testified that he was angry with Sandusky for never contacting him after that.
McGettigan asked if the witness if he is mad now. The man responded by saying, "I'm mad. I'm raged. I'm hurt."
McGettigan asked why.
"Because he (Sandusky) could just forget about me like I was nothing after I got sent away," the witness answered. "I prayed he would call me, find a way to get me out of there, adopt me."
On cross-examination, defense attorney Joe Amendola asked about inconsistencies in the man's grand jury testimony and what he told police.
Alleged victim No. 3 testified today that he had stayed at Sandusky's house more than 50 times, but previously had said it was more like 25.
Also today, the man said Sandusky had kissed his shoulder, and Amendola said that didn't appear in his grand jury testimony or in reports to police.
The young man said he had blocked out the memories and has started remembering them.
The young man known as alleged victim No. 6 testified earlier this morning that he felt "icky" when Sandusky made him shower with him when he was 11 in 1998.
But he also testified that he continued to have contact with Sandusky for years, getting tickets to Penn State football games and sending him a text message on Father's Day.
"I quickly realized my perception changed thinking about it as an adult as opposed to an 11-year-old that that was inappropriate what happened," he said. "I feel violated."
The witness said he initially told his mother about showering with Sandusky, and she contacted police and children's services. He said he was interviewed by police and that he fought with his mother about the incident.
"I didn't want to get him in trouble," the man testified. "I still wanted to hang out with him and go to the games."
It wasn't until, as an adult, he was contacted in 2011 by police investigating Sandusky that he saw that shower scene, on May 3, 1998, in a different light.
The witness described going with Sandusky to the Penn State campus to work out. After a short workout, the witness said, Sandusky said they should shower.
The young man, dressed in a sport coat and slacks, testified that he and Sandusky were naked in the shower and that he doesn't remember anything sexual about it just a naked bear hug as he was being lifted up into the shower head with the water running.
"I remember seeing his chest hair next to my face," he testified. He remembered thinking, "This is just ... this is icky."
The witness testified that he felt uncomfortable during the shower incident and was surprised Sandusky wanted him to shower after a 15- or 20-minute workout.
"My immediate thought was, 'I'm not even sweating yet,' " the man, now 25 and living in Colorado, testified. "But I didn't want to be awkward about it."
The young man said he picked a shower across the room from where Sandusky was, but Sandusky told him a shower was already running for him, so he went over.
"I believe at some point he grabbed me from behind and gave me a bear hug," he testified, "and said 'I'm going to squeeze your guts out.' "
But he doesn't remember anything after that, and he said he put the incident behind him.
"I just remember going into the showerhead and having to close my eyes so the soap wouldn't get in my eyes," he said. "That's the last thing I remember about being in the shower. ... I don't even remember being put down."
He called the incident "awkward" but said nothing overtly sexual took place.
When asked by Amendola if he remembered if Sandusky was aroused, he said, "I tried my very best not to look down. I do not know if he had an erection."
Ronald Schreffler, the Penn State police officer who investigated the incident, testified this morning, telling Amendola that the police report shows the alleged victim said Sandusky didn't have an erection in the shower.
While cross-examining alleged victim No. 6, Amendola sought to illustrate his continued contact with Sandusky long after the 1998 shower incident.
The witness said he attended Penn State football games with Sandusky as recently as 2010 and that he had lunch with the former Nittany Lions assistant coach last summer.
The witness confirmed that he sent Sandusky a card on Thanksgiving 2009 that read: "Happy Thanksgiving, bro. Glad God placed you in my life."
Amendola also referred to a text message the young man sent Sandusky on Father's Day in 2009.
Amendola raised his voice when asking why the young man had changed his mind about the incident now. It was the most animated Amendola has been so far about defending Sandusky.
"I've gone through a lot of emotional roller coasters since then," the young man said.
The witness said he met Sandusky in 1998 at a picnic for The Second Mile, a nonprofit founded by Sandusky to help at-risk children.
The judge presiding over the trial says he thinks the prosecution's case will rest this afternoon. Court is in recess until 1 p.m., after which witnesses, including alleged victim No. 9 will be called. He is the only of the alleged victims who has not testified yet.
It's expected that if the prosecution rests this afternoon, court will be in recess until Monday.
This is a breaking news story. Check back to www.CentreDaily.com for updates.