The Commonwealth finished making its case against Jerry Sandusky yesterday. And new details into how authorities investigated Sandusky were revealed. An alleged victim testified that Sandusky showered with him after they worked out, and that, calling himself the tickle monster, Sandusky would bear-hug him.
“I felt uncomfortable with it. But it was Jerry Sandusky so I didn’t want to make him mad,” he testified. Sandusky lifted him up to the shower nozzle. What happened next, the now 25-year-old bible college graduate says, he honestly can’t remember.
But he does remember returning home. His mom asked what they’d done and he told her. “And if you’re wondering why my hair is wet, it’s because we took a shower,” he testified he told her. He ran upstairs to his bedroom. Concerned, she called police.
So authorities interviewed him. The boy told him Sandusky didn’t molest him. But the mom invited Sandusky to the house and, as two agents hid in the family’s bathroom, she confronted him.
“I wish I could ask forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I was dead,” Sandusky said, according to the police records.
“How did you feel when he said that?” prosecutor Joe McGettigan asked one of the investigators on the stand, Ronald Schreffler.
“I felt there was more that [the boy] hadn’t told me,” Schreffler testified.
So state police started investigating. “Penn State, to be quite frank, they were not very quick in getting us our information,” state investigator Anthony Sassano testified. But when they did, the authorities looked in Sandusky’s former office, where at least 18 cardboard boxes were piled.
Inside, photographs of boys, including some of the alleged victims, one of who was posed like the Heisman Trophy while wearing a Penn State uniform. There were also camp lists from the Second Mile, with asterisks marked by the names of perhaps a dozen boys, some of whom are alleged victims. And there were copies of the letters Sandusky sent to one of the victims.
The prosecution finished its case yesterday for the 10 alleged victims believed to be sexually abused by Sandusky. Court is in recess until Monday morning when the defense will make their case.
Sandusky himself is expected to take the stand. His attorney Joe Amendola alluded to such in his opening statements. But after court yesterday, Amendola signaled that his client would testify. “Did I make an opening statement?” he said. “I’m Catholic. I don’t lie.”
Behind him, Sandusky paced three steps, hands in his dark suit pockets, his face stern. The last testimony the jury heard was from an 18-year-old kid who said Sandusky sodomized him and made him perform oral sex in Sandusky’s basement bedroom on a waterbed.
With his foot, he subtly kicked the base of the swivel chair he’d been sitting in. Sandusky looked defeated, like a coach on the sidelines whose team was getting crushed. If the Sandusky defense wants to prove financial motives, they’ll have an uphill battle come next week.
“Do you have a lawyer?” McGettigan asked.
“Do you want one?”
“No.” The jury laughed.
“Objection,” McGettigan joked. “Are you going to pay me?”
“Yeah, I’ll try,” the 18-year-old said, sniffing back tears. The jurors smiled.
“Can you look at the man who did this to you?” McGettigan asked.
“I won’t look at him,” he said, shaking his head.
McGettigan asked again. The boy inhaled, looked down for composure and shot a half-second glance at Sandusky.
Sandusky, the man who used to pick him up from his trailer home and take him to football games. The man who took him to the gym, bought him gifts and invited him to play in his basement. The basement was like an arcade, complete with an air hockey table, pool table and video games, and also a spare bedroom where the alleged abuse took place. He tried to scream, the boy testified. But Sandusky’s wife, Dottie, must not have heard him.
Sandusky stared at the alleged victim throughout his testimony. In that half-second glance, the boy immediately filled with tears.
During his cross-examination, Amendola continued to question the validity of the alleged victims’ stories: Why would a teenager continue to visit the Sandusky’s home after if he was being abused? “My mom wanted me to go.”
If you were anally raped, did you go to the hospital or did your mom ever find blood in your underwear? “No,” the boy testified. “I just dealt with it. I have a different way of coping with things, I guess.”
Why attend Penn State football games with Sandusky if he abused you? The boy said he brought a friend with him. “If anything went down, my friend had my back,” he testified.
Apparently, Penn State did not.