But then he spoke. And the continued denial of a serial pedophile tumbled out. He sounded sick. Beyond self-delusional. Disturbed enough to use a football metaphor in a child sexual abuse case.
“I told Dottie that day, ‘We’re definitely in the fourth quarter now,’ ” Sandusky said, referring to his wife, as part of a rambling statement to the court before he was sentenced to jail until he is at least 99 years old. “You find out who’s with you in the fourth quarter, who will go through the hurt and pain to get you where you want to go.”
It got worse: “I see throwing 1,000 children in the air. I see hundreds of water-balloon fights. And dogs licking children’s faces.”
Listening and cringing were three of the adult survivors who put him behind bars, three grown men who confronted the man they called “Touchdown Jer” when he shoplifted their souls as children. Now, inexplicably, they were being victimized again. By Sandusky’s mindless words.
While all this was going on — as dozens of camera trucks and reporters ringed the white-pillared, Victorian Centre County Courthouse for the final time in this sorrowful tale of how grown men enabled a sexual predator and protected a football program instead of children — there was but one takeaway:
The courage of these men, now all in their 20s, to come forward is one thing to extol. But the self-restraint over the years, to not physically go after and violently punish Sandusky for what he did — to ruin their own lives out of pure selfish vengeance — that’s flat-out astounding and commendable. Because at least one looked like he wanted to Tuesday morning.
Victim 4 eyed Sandusky with a death stare oozing with rage. He wore a crew cut and a button-down shirt and a look of utter contempt. You could tell he was still working through things, still processing what had happened to him in the sauna and showers used by Penn State’s football players all those years ago.
He took a deep breath before he spoke, exhaling like a college linebacker about to bench press 350 pounds for the first time. “You should be ashamed of yourself,” Victim 4 said. “I don’t forgive you. Because of you, I trust no one. I won’t leave my child alone with anyone. My only regret, I ask that others [who came forward] before me forgive me for not coming forward sooner.”
Every time he looked up from his statement, he looked purposefully at Sandusky several feet to his right, the man he put away.
During the trial, Victim 4 was a rock for the prosecution. He explicitly detailed at least 40 acts of inappropriate sexual contact in the showers with Sandusky — wrestling matches, soap battles that sickeningly morphed into attempts at oral and anal sex.