Sandusky jurors hear of 2 more alleged victims

Sandusky jurors hear of 2 more alleged victims

June 13th, 2012 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives for the second day his trial at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pa., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Sandusky faces 52 counts of child sex-abuse involving 10 boys over a 15-year span. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.


BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) - Jerry Sandusky displayed no visible emotion as more witnesses testified for the prosecution, one an alleged victim who fought back tears describing how the famous assistant football coach at Penn State, who entered his life as a mentor and father figure, turned into a demanding pedophile who stalked him at home and school.

Jurors on Tuesday also heard from Mike McQueary who in much anticipated testimony stood firmly by his claim that he saw Sandusky, naked in a team shower late one Friday night, in a position that he remains convinced meant Sandusky was sodomizing a child of about 10.

So-called "Victim 1," the boy whose mother alerted authorities to suspicions of abuse in 2008, launching the investigation that eventually led to the 52 criminal charges Sandusky faces, struggled to retain his composure while recounting the humiliation and fear that accompanied the alleged abuse at Sandusky's hands.

The boy, now 18 and a recent high school graduate, said sleepovers in a bedroom in the basement of Sandusky's State College home escalated into alleged kissing, fondling and oral sex. Eventually, he testified, Sandusky said it was his turn to reciprocate the act of his alleged molester. He said he could not resist.

"I don't know how to explain it, I froze," he said. "My mind is telling me to move but I couldn't do it, I couldn't move."

During his testimony, McQueary said, in a voice alternating between calm and forcefulness, he walked into a university athletics locker room more than a decade ago to the sound of a "skin-on-skin smacking sound." In a mirror, he said, he could see in the showers Sandusky, standing behind a boy who was "propped up against a wall."

McQueary, who was then a graduate coaching assistant, said that while he couldn't say with "1,000 percent" certainty, he is convinced Sandusky "was having sex with (him), yes."

"The showers are running. And he is right up against his back with his front. The boy's hands are up against the wall," he said, and they are in "the closest proximity that I think you can be in."

He said "the defendant's midsection was moving" subtly.

McQueary 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, eventually reporting it to then-head football coach Joe Paterno and telling his story to two university officials. It would be more than a decade before he shared what he saw with police investigators.

Sandusky, 68, is on trial on charges he molested 10 boys over a 15-year period - allegations he has denied. Authorities say he abused them in hotels, at his home and inside the football team's headquarters.

Paterno was fired last fall, shortly after Sandusky's arrest, after it became known that McQueary had told the head coach about the shower episode a decade ago. Paterno relayed the allegation to his superiors including the administrative head of campus police, but school trustees cited, in part, a failure of leadership and moral obligation to do more in justifying his ouster.

Two months after his dismissal, Paterno died of lung cancer at 85.

McQueary was composed during his testimony, and when 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 the administrators charged with failing to report the shower episode to authorities. One difference: He said it took place in 2001 instead of 2002, and that and other discrepancies were the focus of cross-examination.

Sandusky attorney Karl Rominger pressed McQueary about estimates he has given of the boy's age, but McQueary countered that they have been in the same general range.

"If (you) want to argue about 9, 10, 11, 12 ... the fact is he had sex with a minor, a boy," McQueary told Rominger.

"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.

He said he wasn't sure whether Sandusky saw him. 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 extremely 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, who oversaw the police department. 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.

McQueary said he never brought the shower incident up with police initially because "In my mind Mr. Schultz represented the police, without a doubt."

The identity of the boy who was said to have been in the showers is a mystery to prosecutors.

McQueary, now 37, later became an assistant coach.

Last month, he filed notice in court of his intent to file a "whistleblower" suit against Penn State, and remains on paid leave. He said he still hoped to return to the team, but the current coach has filled his old job with someone new.

"They've hired the position I was in," he testified. "And under contractual obligations, I think I am owed things by the university," McQueary said. "Frankly, I want to be a football coach at Penn State University, and I don't have that capability now. Might I add, I don't think I've done anything wrong to lose that job."

Victim 1 said he changed his story repeatedly out of shame and fear, and when he finally did confide to a school guidance counselor, he was told by an unidentified school official or officials that Sandusky "has a heart of gold, and he wouldn't do something like that."

"So they didn't believe me," the teenager said.

Eventually his high school principal referred the case to the Clinton County Children and Youth Services Department, which reported it to a state child abuse registry, launched an investigation and brought in police.

The young man said he felt pressure to conceal the abuse because his mother thought Sandusky was a positive influence. He also received gifts and opportunities that were not available in his modest home, but eventually he began to try to distance himself from Sandusky. He spent a good bit of time on the stand describing the fall-out from that decision, including Sandusky's visits to his school and home, and angry arguments that drew in family members.

"I got extremely, extremely scared," he said.

When he asked his mother if there was a website to track sex offenders so that he could see if Sandusky was on it, his mother arranged a meeting with the guidance counselor.

Jessica Dershem, a county child protective services worker who got involved, said Sandusky 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.

She said that after speaking with Victim 1, a state trooper felt in December 2008 there was enough evidence to charge Sandusky with indecent assault, but that did not occur, and a month later Sandusky met with her and an agency lawyer to respond to the allegations.

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, accounts that were not identical to later testimony, in some ways less detailed. Victim 1 responded that it was an embarrassing subject.

"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.

The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday morning as prosecutors will continue to present their case against Sandusky.