By Andrew McGill, Adam Clark and Peter Hall, The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) –
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky waited three years to make his move.
He met the boy through The Second Mile in 1999 and brought him into the cadre of youngsters who accompanied him to tailgates and Penn State football games. Then in 2001, the retired football coach invited the 13-year-old to work out with him at the university’s football training center.
After a brief session on a treadmill and weight machines, Sandusky suggested they hit the sauna, the man whom prosecutors call Victim 5 testified Wednesday.
Inside, Sandusky sat down, parted his towel and exposed himself to the boy. After what felt like forever, the man said, he followed Sandusky down a long hallway to the showers, where Penn State’s former defensive coordinator hung up his towel and turned on the water.
Victim 5 followed him but tried to keep his distance and faced the wall to preserve his modesty, the 23-year-old from Centre County said.
“I kept looking over my shoulder and saw that he was standing a few feet away from me,” the man said, his voice breaking and his eyes cast toward the floor. “I saw that his penis was enlarged, but I didn’t understand the significance of it.”
The boy inched into a corner but Sandusky kept encroaching, Victim 5 told the Centre County jury of seven women and five men. Sandusky began lathering soap on the boy’s shoulders.
“I felt his body on my back. I kept lurching forward, but I didn’t have anywhere to go,” the man said, sobbing. “I felt his penis on my back.”
Sandusky reached around and touched his genitalia, Victim 5 testified, then took the boy’s hand and put it on his own penis.
On cross-examination, the man said he is certain the incident happened in late summer 2001 because it happened between his 13th birthday and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Victim 5’s testimony came on the third day of Sandusky’s trial on 52 counts of child sexual abuse, when Judge John M. Cleland allowed prosecutors to present a Penn State janitor’s testimony about a co-worker’s near breakdown after seeing Sandusky allegedly performing oral sex on a boy in a locker room.
Jurors also heard from the father of key prosecution witness Mike McQueary and two other alleged victims. The accusers all gave their names in court, but The Morning Call typically does not name victims of sexual abuse.
Also Wednesday, prosecutors played audio from Sandusky’s interview with Bob Costas, aired in November on NBC’s “Rock Center,” in which the ex-coach admitted showering with young boys.
Cleland told jurors at the end of the proceedings that prosecutors expect to conclude their case by Friday, putting the trial, projected to last two to three weeks, well ahead of schedule.
Sandusky’s lawyers objected to the janitor’s testimony, saying it was hearsay and inadmissible. The man who witnessed the alleged assault suffers dementia and could not testify himself, but the judge agreed that his co-worker’s testimony falls under an exception for “excited utterances” — statements made in the wake of a startling event.
Penn State janitor Ronald Petrosky told jurors he was cleaning locker rooms at the Lasch football building in the fall of 2000 when he saw two pairs of legs — one pair hairy and one pair skinny — in a shower.
Out of politeness, he went outside to prepare his cleaning supplies and waited until Sandusky and a small boy left. On re-entering the locker room, he encountered James Calhoun, a part-time janitor who had been cleaning toilets and was pale and shaking.
“He said, ‘That man who just left had that boy up against the wall licking on his privates,’” Petrosky said.
On cross-examination, Sandusky defense attorney Joe Amendola grilled him on how much time passed between Sandusky’s leaving the locker room and Calhoun’s statement, a crucial issue in judging the reliability of an excited utterance. Another janitor, Jay Witherite, is expected to testify later.
Victim 10, a 25-year-old man from Columbia, Lancaster County, testified Sandusky forced oral sex on him as a boy and then threatened him not to tell anyone about the abuse.
Like each of the young men who has testified so far, Victim 10 met Sandusky in his second year attending a summer camp run by The Second Mile, the charity Sandusky founded for disadvantaged children.
Playing with Victim 10 and other children in an outdoor pool at Penn State, Sandusky swam between the boy’s legs and groped the boy’s genitals while lifting him out of the water.
Victim 10 testified he didn’t tell anyone what happened, and Sandusky later took him to a football game with other children. Then 11, the boy spent more time with Sandusky and went to his home later in the fall of 1998.
Alone in the house, they went to the basement, Victim 10 said.
“We were wrestling around and the defendant pulled down my shorts and started performing oral sex on me,” the man said.
Asked by Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan III how he reacted, the man said, “I freaked out. I was scared.”
Afterward, “He told me that if I told anybody I would never see my family again,” the man said, adding that Sandusky later apologized, saying he didn’t mean it.
While Amendola has worked to discredit other accusers’ accounts, he dug deeper into Victim 10’s story, exposing more sexual abuse.
Victim 10 testified Sandusky took him to a Centre County shopping mall and bought him shoes, clothes for school and a video game. He then took Victim 10 home where he performed oral sex on the boy and forced him to give it in return.
After that episode in late 1998 or 1999, Victim 10 distanced himself from Sandusky and eventually went to live with grandparents out of state. He developed problems with drugs and alcohol and ran afoul of the law, recently completing a 23-month state prison sentence for robbery.
Victim 7 told a similar story about meeting Sandusky through The Second Mile in 1995 and then joining him for Penn State football games and tailgates. The man, now 27, said that when he rode in Sandusky’s car, the coach took the opportunity to grope him.
“He had this habit of putting his hand on my left leg, squeezing around my knee cap. Sometimes he would squeeze so hard I would cry out almost in pain,” Victim 7 said.
“One time when I was wearing pants, his hand actually went inside my pants and my belt and touched my penis,” he said.
When he spent the night at Sandusky’s house, Sandusky came to “cuddle” him in an upstairs bedroom. The boy wore mesh gym shorts that Sandusky provided, and Sandusky wore shorts and no shirt, the man testified.
“To this day, I’m sort of repulsed by chest hair. I just remember the feeling of it pressed up against me,” he said.
At the start of proceedings Wednesday, the father of former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary gave his version of events the night his son allegedly saw Sandusky raping a young boy in a locker room shower.
John McQueary testified his son called late on a Friday night in February 2001.
“He said in a very distraught voice and shaken state, and that’s not like him, `I just saw something with a coach in the shower,’” John McQueary said.
He said his son, who testified Tuesday, told him about the abuse late that night at the State College home he shares with his wife.
Mike McQueary later repeated his description of what he saw for Dr. Jonathan Dranov, a family friend and partner in the medical practice where John McQueary worked, the elder McQueary testified. But he told the jury his son didn’t use explicit language to describe what he saw.
“Keep in mind it’s not easy to talk to your dad about something like that like it’s an everyday occurrence, so he was probably choosing words to make me comfortable,” he said.
Asked by McGettigan whether he pushed for more detail, John McQueary said he asked his son whether he had seen anal sex.
“Did you see anything you could verify? Penetration?” the elder McQueary said, stuttering on the last word as he testified.
No, the graduate assistant said, according to his father.
But John McQueary’s testimony took a strange turn on cross-examination when he told defense attorney Karl Rominger that he did not recall testifying at a Dec. 16 preliminary hearing for Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley, who is on leave, and retired Vice President Gary Schultz, both of whom are charged with perjury.
Asked whether he had testified in the hearing at the Dauphin County Courthouse, John McQueary asked where it is. When told it is in Harrisburg, he said “No.”
“I was not in that courthouse to my knowledge,” he said, looking to McGettigan as if for help.
When Rominger persisted in asking about the hearing, Cleland told him to move on.
“Mr. Rominger, he said he wasn’t there,” Cleland barked.