By Mike Dawson and Matt Carroll, McClatchy Newspapers –
BELLEFONTE, Pa. — One of the most recent alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky, and one of the youngest, was the last to testify in the child sex abuse trial of the former Penn State assistant football coach.
The witness known as alleged Victim No. 9 delivered his emotional testimony Thursday, looking down while answering questions and rarely making eye contact with either attorney. He played with his hands, picking at his fingernails.
He spoke in a quiet voice and kept his answers short. At first, he had difficulty describing what he alleges Sandusky had done. Prosecutor Joseph E. McGettigan III reminded him that prosecutors told him he’d have to answer difficult questions.
The witness, now 18 years old, said he met Sandusky at The Second Mile charity when he was about 12. Within weeks, he said, he was spending the night at Sandusky’s home. The Second Mile is a nonprofit for at-risk youth founded by Sandusky.
The witness said of Sandusky that “at first he was nice and stuff,” taking him to Penn State football games. But soon the relationship escalated, the boy testified.
“He would come into the bedroom with me when I went to bed, cracking my back, hugging me, kissing me all over and stuff,” the witness said.
The young man, getting very quiet, alleged that Sandusky had forced oral sex on him and eventually raped him. He described the first time he and Sandusky had anal sex.
“He came in, I sucked his penis and he got real aggressive and just forced me into it,” he said. “And I just went with it. There was no fighting against it.”
He said that at first he told his mother that Sandusky was “touchy feely,” but did not describe the sexual acts that allegedly followed.
“My mom wanted me to go (to Sandusky’s home),” he said. “How are you supposed to tell your mom something like that?”
Eventually, the witness said, he “got fed up” and stopped going to Sandusky’s home.
The boy’s mother allegedly contacted police after she saw that charges had been filed against Sandusky in November.
Two other alleged victims took the stand Thursday. Both said they had met Sandusky through The Second Mile.
A young man known as alleged Victim No. 3, now a sergeant in the Army National Guard who served a year in Iraq, said 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 of the Sandusky home.
“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 McGettigan 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 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.”
The young man known as alleged Victim No. 6 testified earlier Thursday 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.
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.”