Character Witnesses Testify on Day Six
Day six of the Jerry Sandusky trial got underway with Joe Amendola calling a slew of character witnesses to testify, asking them only a few brief questions about Sandusky’s historically stellar reputation.
Former Second Mile participants and old friends alike testified, all of whom had nothing but great things to say about Jerry Sandusky. One Second Mile child who stayed over at the Sandusky household five times said of her time in the program, “I enjoyed every minute of it.” A long-time friend of Sandusky said, “All the people i know think Jerry is a wonderful man,” before patting him on the head on the way out of the courtroom.
“My wife and I are Christians. We were not going to be the ones to judge what Jerry did,” said another man. “He is a father figure to my children.”
A person who has known Victim 4 for her entire life — also a former Second Mile participant — spoke highly of Sandusky, and said of Victim 4, “He was known to be a dishonest person who embellished stories.”
After six character witnesses testified, Corporal Scott Rossman took the stand. Rossman was one of the lead investigators on the Sandusky case and was the arresting officer on November 5. Rossman admitted that many of the alleged victims claimed that something minimal or nothing occurred at first, but then mentioned additional abuse when pressed in the interview. Rossman added that this is common with sexual abuse victims.
Joseph Leiter, another investigator, confirmed Rossman’s statements about the victims’ reluctance to come forward during interviews.”Each of these accusers was very seriously injured. We told them before going to the Grand Jury that they weren’t alone,” Leiter explained.
Amendola recited part of a past interview between Leiter and Victim 4. “A lot of things we’ve heard is very similar to the others… What happened, happened. He took advantage of you. We need you to tell us everything you can… I need you to understand that you’re not alone in this.”
Lance Mehl, a former Penn State and New York Jets football player, testified next. He claimed that “We all looked up to [Sandusky]. He was a class act.”
Before the mid-morning recess, another former Second Mile participant spoke highly of Sandusky. She said that he paid half of her college tuition.
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Governor Tom Wolf officially enacted the Timothy J. Piazza Anti-Hazing Law, which will establish stronger penalties, new standards for enforcement and reporting, and a stratified system for assessing hazing offenses, Friday in Harrisburg.
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