The Prosecution Rests on Day Five
Victim 9’s mother took the stand this morning in what would be the prosecution’s last witness.
Sandusky approached Victim 9’s mother during a Second Mile camp and said that he was interested in “hanging out” with Victim 9 outside of the camp. “I thought it was great. It was Jerry Sandusky. He’s a very important person,” she said.
Victim 9’s mother said that there were times where her son didn’t want to go over to Sandusky’s house, but because she was often busy with multiple jobs, it was convenient for Victim 9 to go. “I would ask why he didn’t feel like it, and I would make him go anyways,” she said.
On one occasion, Victim 9’s mother went over to Sandusky’s house to pick up her son because he complained of being sick. She said that her son’s health deteriorated around the same time he started staying at the Sandusky’s home. “He had a lot of stomach problems. He was sick a lot. He had behavior issues. His sleep patterns were very different,” she said.
Through tears, Victim 9’s mother said that she never asked her son what happened at the Sandusky home, even after Sandusky’s arrest.”I didn’t really want to hear [what happened]. It’s not that I didn’t want to hear, I just knew that it’d be tough for him to tell me…I just can’t imagine what happened to him.”
Visibly shaken on the stand, Victim 9’s mother said that she feels responsible for the abuse.
She said that she would notice that her son’s underwear would often go missing when she did the laundry.”I always wondered why he never had any underwear in the laundry,” Victim 9’s mother said. “He always just told me he had an accident and threw them out.”
Following the testimony, the Commonwealth rested at 10:43 a.m.
The defense’s first witness was former Penn State assistant coach and long-time friend of Sandusky, Dick Anderson, who coached with Sandusky for the better part of three decades.
Joe Amendola pressed Anderson on the time restraints that came with being a Penn State coach. Anderson said that the schedule was tenuous, often starting before 7 a.m. during the season and lasting well into the night. Anderson also said that most coaches also traveled for recruiting or speaking engagements on the weekend.
“He’s probably the best known individual in the area,” Anderson said of Sandusky. “Jerry had a great reputation. I don’t know of anyone I’ve come across that has a bad thing to say about him.”
Joe McGettigan of the prosecution got animated when cross-examining Anderson. He asked Anderson if he has ever showered with young boys, to which Anderson confidently responded, “Oh yes.”
“You shower with young boys?” McGettigan asked again.
“I still do it,” Anderson answered, seemingly amused. “At the YMCA, I do it all the time.”
McGettigan got more animated at this response, and seemed almost in disbelief at the ease of Anderson’s response. Anderson admitted, however, that he had never brought the kids to the shower personally, and never hugged them or touched them while showering.
“Jerry did bring various kids to bowl games… It was common for him to involve Second Mile kids in a lot of his activities,” Anderson said. “If there was a need of special support in some way, I would see why Sandusky would bring boys around.”
“Would I sleep in the same room with the boy? If necessary,” Anderson said, sticking up for his old friend. “The first time I took showers in high school was with my coaches. It was part of my life.”
Anderson also said that it was “not uncommon” for Sandusky to bring children into the showers at the Lasch Football Building while he and other coaches were showering.
The second witness called by the defense was a former Second Mile participant, who was confined to a wheelchair. “He’d call and make sure I was doing good in school,” the witness said, speaking very highly of Sandusky.
The defense also called former Penn State assistant coach Booker Brooks to testify, who coached at Penn state from 1968 10 1983. He says that he was very close with Sandusky during his time at Penn State.
Brooks, like Dick Anderson, says he has showered with younger people at various camps and YMCAs. “It’s very common all over the country,” Brooks said.
Brooks finished his testimony, referring to Sandusky, “I think he’s a great guy.”
Court is now on lunch recess.