It was a dreary, rainy day in Bellefonte, and the testimony was just as depressing.
Victim 1, as he is known in the Grand Jury report, is a recent high school graduate and the youngest of Sandusky’s accusers. He took the stand today, and through tears and several momentary breaks to gain composure, gave his accounts of over 20 incidences of abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky from 2007 and 2008.
Victim 1 met Sandusky through the Second Mile program after being referred by his school in 2005 or 2006. After the second year in the program, he got to know Sandusky a little better, and he described their relationship as “fun.” At first, the alleged abuses were subtle. “He put his hand on my left knee and just kind of kept it there as he was driving. I didn’t really think anything of it.”
Soon, Victim 1 began to sleep over at the Sandusky house on a regular basis. They would eat meals and play games in the basement, but bed time provided a different environment. “At first, at bed time he would kiss me on the forehead goodnight, and then it came to him kissing me on the cheek and rubbing my back and pulling me on top of him and cracking my back,” Victim 1 said.
“I thought I was part of his family, and this is what his family does,” Victim 1 said, after being asked if he felt uncomfortable when Sandusky did this. After a few more times staying over at the Sandusky household, the abuse became worse, Victim 1 says. “After kissing my forehead and cheeks, he moved to kissing my lips. He kept cracking my back, and then began to rub underneath my shorts in the back. As he was laying on top of me, he rolled back over so he was on top of me and lifted up my shirt and blew on my stomach.”
Sandusky stared expressionless at the witness stand, as Victim 1 broke down sobbing. After several short breaks for Victim 1 to catch his breath, he described the abuse in further detail. “After rubbing and cracking my back, and rubbing his hands down the back of my shorts, he put his mouth on my privates,” Victim 1 said.
“I didn’t know what to do, with all the thoughts running through my head, I just blacked out and didn’t want it to happen. I just froze,” Victim 1 said. “I was embarrassed and confused and didn’t know what to do…I just couldn’t say no.”
Victim 1 says that this process would repeat about “80 or 90 percent of the time” he went to Sandusky’s house. “As soon as he blew on my stomach, that’s when [the oral sex]would happen,” Victim 1 said. “The routine was back cracking, roll around in bed, hands down the back of my shorts, it was the same thing. He would look at me and say something like ‘it’s your turn’ and he made me put my mouth on his privates.”
Sandusky was also an assistant football coach at the school where Victim 1 wrestled. Sometimes, Sandusky would come into the school and ask the assistant principal to pull Victim 1 out of class to talk. It was during one of these sessions where a school official caught Sandusky in the middle of abuse. “I was climbing around on the rock wall, and he came up behind me and lifted me off. He then laid me down on the mat and rolled on top of me, cracking my back, and then the door opened. [Name redacted] walked in.”
It was then that Victim 1 decided to start avoiding Sandusky.
“When I would stay at his house, I would hide – underneath the pool table, in closet spaces – just delaying time before he would go upstairs or his wife would call him upstairs,” Victim 1 said. Soon, Victim 1’s visits became less and less frequent. At one point, Victim 1 says Sandusky came to his house and yelled at him for not making enough time for him. He also described a situation where Sandusky followed him in his car, upset that Victim 1 refused to spend time with him.
Victim 1 says he was looking up Sandusky on an online predator database when his mom caught him. “My mom started feeling a little weird about him calling me, so my mom set up an appointment with my guidance counselor. After a few hours, the guidance counselor asked if Jerry ever did anything wrong to me. I broke down and cried and said yes,” Victim 1 said.
Sobbing and short of breath, Victim 1 said, “They said that we needed to think about [reporting]it – he has a heart of gold, he wouldn’t do anything like that – they didn’t believe me.”
After several pictures were shown on the screen of the victim and Sandusky, Joe Amendola began his cross-examination.
“I didn’t have a father figure or someone who took me out and did things,” Victim 1 said, after being asked about his family life. “I spent more time with Sandusky than most of my family”
Victim 1 also says that Sandusky bought him golf clubs and clothing — although he didn’t really understand golf.
Victim 1 again recounted the incident where a school official saw Sandusky on top of him at school, “Sandusky hopped up like a rabbit and said, ‘Oh, I was just showing him some wrestling moves.’ And [name redacted]didn’t think anything of it.”
Amendola also questioned Victim 1 about his family recently hiring a civil attorney. Amendola asked, “Have you in the presence of your mom ever told anybody that you and she are going to get rich out of this thing?” Victim 1 said no. Amendola then asked, “If I have somebody who will come in and testify saying that you said that, what would you say?”
Victim 1 responded, “If you have somebody, then no that wouldn’t be the truth.”
Amendola tried to paint the picture that Victim 1 was in this for money, pressing him about the details of his civil attorney. “Mom hired a civil attorney to keep the press away from me. They were putting things in the pickup truck I was driving. They made my life extremely difficult,” Victim 1 said.
“I’m just here to tell the truth about what happened to me, just like everyone else,” Victim 1 said. Victim 1 says he also testified in front of the Grand Jury 3 times. “I had to tell them the truth. I didn’t want to, but I didn’t have a choice.”
Victim 1 will resume testimony after a short recess after the prosecution raised an objection over Amendola’s questioning about Grand Jury testimony.