Victim 6 Testimony Begins Day Four [Graphic Content]
“Are you nervous?” asked head prosecutor Joe McGettigan.
“A little bit,” quivered Victim 6 — as he is known in the Grand Jury report — as day four of the Jerry Sandusky trial got underway in Bellefonte.
Victim 6, now 25, testified that he met Jerry Sandusky at a Second Mile picnic in 1998. Soon after, in May of 1998, Victim 6 testified that he was invited by Sandusky to workout at a gym on Penn State’s campus.
Victim 6 said that after receiving approval from his mother, Sandusky came to pick up Victim 6 at his house. “We got in the car, put our seat belts on. He put his hand on my left knee area. I tried to push it away slightly because it was awkward. I remember it remained on there, but I just rolled with it,” Victim 6 said.
After arriving at the gym next to Holuba Hall, Victim 6 said that Sandusky let him put on some of the players’ football shoulder pads, and started to playfully wrestle with him. “He was showing me a few wrestling moves,” Victim 6 said. “I felt uncomfortable with it but it was Jerry Sandusky so I didn’t want to make a big deal about it.”
Victim 6 then testified that they went to the workout room down the hall, where Sandusky showed him how to use some of the equipment. After only 15 or 20 minutes, Victim 6 remembers that Sandusky said, “Okay, now it’s time for a shower.”
“My immediate thought was, ‘I’m not even sweating yet,'” Victim 6 said. “It was only 15 to 20 minutes. But I didn’t want to be awkward with him about it so I politely said okay. I started to really get uncomfortable because no one besides my parents have ever seen me without clothes on.”
“I put a towel around me and walked into the shower. He was already there, waiting, taking his shower,” Victim 6 testified. “He had a shower right next to him going. I immediately went in and walked to the left and turned on a shower across the room. I didn’t want to be right next to him in the shower. It just felt really awkward.”
It didn’t take long for Sandusky to ask the boy to come closer.
“Why don’t you come over the shower next to me? I warmed it up for you,” Victim 6 said Sandusky asked.
“I said ok, but I didn’t really want to,” Victim 6 said.
According to Victim 6, Sandusky immediately started joking around with him. Then, Sandusky started touching the boy. “He started to tickle me. I think he said ‘He was the tickle monster,’” Victim 6 said.
“He started lathering soap on my arms and chest area,” Victim 6 testified. “At some point, he grabbed me from behind and gave me a big bear hug and said ‘I’m gonna squeeze your guts out’ and made a growling sound.”
“I remember seeing his chest hair next to my face and said ‘this is icky,'” Victim 6 said. “That just escalated the uncomfortableness of it. Then he took me, put his hands around my waist, and lifted me up to the shower head to get the soap off my head.”
Victim 6 said that being lifted up to the shower head is the last thing he remembers about being in the shower with Sandusky. Like many previous victims have said, Victim 6 said that he was uncomfortable telling Sandusky to stop because of his position in the community. “I was just trying to not make him feel mad that I was feeling a bit awkward about it,” Victim 6 said.
Victim 6 said that when he got home, he told his mother, “In case you’re wondering, my hair is wet because I took a shower,” and ran up to his room.
Victim 6’s mother called the police, and Victim 6 spoke to a few officers, although he was not aware if Sandusky was ever charged.
Joe Amendola started his cross-examination by having Victim 6 admit that he attended football games with Sandusky and his family for many years after the 1998 incident.
Amendola asked, “You didn’t think anything inappropriate happened at the time?”
Victim 6 said that he didn’t think anything inappropriate happened at the time. “I didn’t want to get him in trouble because I still wanted to hang out with him and go to the games. He told me that he had a computer, and that I could come over and we could sit in his lap and get on the computer together.”
Amendola continued by examining Victim 6’s relationship with Sandusky following the 1998 incident. Victim 6 testified that he asked Sandusky for money to go on a mission trip to Mexico in the early 2000s, to which Sandusky obliged. Victim 6 also borrowed Sandusky’s car on one occasion around the same time period.
The biggest hit to Victim 6’s testimony — however — came from two text messages he sent to Sandusky in 2009.
The first message, sent on Thanksgiving from Victim 6 to Sandusky, read: I’m glad God has placed you in my life. You are an awesome friend. Love you.
The second message, sent on Father’s Day, read: Hey Jerry, just wanted to wish you a happy Father’s Day. Great things are yet to come.
Amendola asked how he could have sent those text messages, 13 years after the alleged incident occurred, and still be sitting in court today in a criminal case against Sandusky.
“What happened was, when I was contacted in January of 2011, the state police officer says that I should cooperate with it. He said that he wanted me to think about what happened in 1998 again. As I started to think about it – as I started to go over it in my mind – I quickly realized that my perception changed when thinking about it as an adult than when I was an 11 year old,” Victim 6 said. “I feel violated. I’ve gone through a lot of emotional roller coasters since then.”
A State College police detective who investigated the case in 1998 was the next to testify. He said that Victim 6 was “laid back” when they spoke in 1998. His testimony was consistent with Victim 6’s testimony.
The detective says he eavesdropped on a conversation with Sandusky and Victim 6’s mother, in which Sandusky said, “I wish I could ask for forgiveness. I know I will not get it from you. I wish I were dead.”
Eventually, the police decided not to press charges. Sandusky was told by the police not to shower with young boys again. According to the detective, Sandusky agreed that it was inappropriate.
“Sandusky used the term ‘bad judgement,'” the detective said. “He said he wouldn’t do it again.”
The detective also read a transcript from a police interview with Victim 6, where the police asked, “Did Jerry ever touch you inappropriately?”
Victim 6 had said no.
“Do you think what Jerry did was inappropriate?” the police also asked, at the time.
Victim 6 had said no to that too.
We are now in a short recess.
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