Sandusky groped him in the shower during “soap battles,” repeatedly forced him to perform oral sex and treated him like “his girlfriend,” the witness said. He testified that when they were in Texas for a bowl game, he resisted Sandusky’s advances and that the coach asked threateningly whether he wanted to go back home.
The dramatic first day of testimony demonstrated Sandusky’s challenge as he defends himself against the accusation that he is a serial predator of young boys. The defense argues that innocent behavior has been misinterpreted, that witnesses have changed their stories and that some may be motivated by the possibility of money from future lawsuits.
But Sandusky faces a swarm of accusers. The prosecution has identified eight alleged victims, each of whom is expected to testify. Lead prosecutor Joseph McGettigan III opened his argument Monday morning by showing photographs of the boys at the time they allegedly attracted Sandusky’s attention. They appeared to be in their early teens or even younger.
Sandusky faces 52 counts related to child sex abuse involving 10 boys over the course of 15 years. Two of the boys were never identified, but there were witnesses to the alleged abuse. Sandusky has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
“How can someone be innocent with so many accusers?” Sandusky’s attorney, Joseph Amendola, asked in his opening statement, posing a question that he said he thought might be on the minds of jurors. Amendola said that even though the prosecutor called the eight boys “victims,” they are actually “accusers.”
One potential witness whom Amendola singled out for having a changing story was Mike McQueary, a former Penn State assistant football coach, who told a grand jury that more than a decade ago he saw Sandusky sexually assault a young boy in a locker-room shower. Amendola said McQueary called his father the night of that alleged incident. According to a doctor who was with McQueary’s father at the time of the call, Amendola told the jurors, the father asked his son three times: “Did you see sex occur?” Each time, the answer was no. That’s why, Amendola said, no one ever called the police.
“He assumed it was sex,” Amendola said.
Amendola told the jurors that “at least six” of the alleged victims are represented by lawyers, which he said “is rare — absolutely, totally unusual.”
He indicated that Sandusky would take the stand in his own defense.
Letters from Sandusky
The prosecution introduced into evidence letters from Sandusky to the witness. “Some of them would be almost like creepy love letters,” the witness said. The tone is of a man experiencing great anguish as the object of his affection pulls away. At one point, Sandusky wrote, “I hope that writing some of my thoughts will not annoy you as much as I do personally.” He later wrote: “You seemed like you had bought into everything and were doing well.”