Victim 1’s Mother, Psychologist Testify
Former Penn State wrestler James Martin was the first witness to testify after lunch recess. He says that he and Sandusky became “very good friends” because the football and wrestling teams lifted weights in the same room. Martin says that when he was in medical school, he stayed over at his house for a month for a residency.
Martin says that Sandusky gave him several gifts, including a Fiesta Bowl watch and a photo album. Sandusky also wrote a poem to Martin, which said in part, “Thanks for being so warm and friendly. Thanks for having a special touch…Thanks for sharing the good times we had…Thanks for giving so much love. Thanks for wearing the blue and white. Thanks, mostly, for just being you.”
At one point, Amendola said to Judge Cleland when responding to an objection, “Mr. Sandusky [gave gifts] to other kids and it had nothing to do with abuse.”
Elaine Steinbacher, a former employee of the Second Mile and long-time friend of the Sandusky family, testified that she met Victim 4 at the Sandusky home in 2009. “They were very friendly,” she said. “I remember telling Dottie that that kid would be around a lot.”
Steinbacher also spoke highly of Sandusky’s character, even needing to be cut off at one point. “We all revered Jerry. We just think the world of him,” Steinbacher said. “One time we spoke for four straight hours because we had such a special connection. I found a man that I have so much in common with, and I can’t even talk to my own husband for four minutes.”
This comment a drew a big laugh from Sandusky, which is the first time he’s noticeably changed his expression in court.
Steinbacher continued to speak of her relationship with the Sanduskys. “Dottie [Sandusky] and I text a lot. We’ve been texting all through this drama,” she said.
The mother of Victim 1 was the next to testify. Amendola asked her, “Did you ever say anything …that by the time the Sandusky case was over you were going to be a very wealthy person?”
She responded, “No I did not.”
“Did you say that you were going to have a nice house and a new car by the time the Sandusky scandal was over?”
She again denied ever saying this.
A neighbor of Victim 1 was called next, and said that Victim 1’s mother had said those things to him. He said, “She said she was going to have a nice big house in the country with a fence where the dogs can run free.”
“Do you think she forced her son to go over to the Sanduskys?” Amendola asked.
“Yes,” the neighbor answered.
“Do you think she is a bad mother?”
“Yes I do,” he replied.
The neighbor also says that Victim 1’s mother forced her son to go over to Sandusky’s house and attend other Second Mile events, making Sandusky a “surrogate babysitter” of sorts. The neighbor recalls dialogue from one weekend where Victim 1 didn’t want to go over to Sandusky’s house, but his mother had already made weekend plans. “You’re going to the Second Mile because you’re not gonna fuck up my weekend,” the neighbor testified.
Up next was psychologist Elliot Atkins who recently examined Sandusky. “Based on my evaluation of Mr. Sandusky, I have diagnosed a histrionic personality disorder,” he said. Judge Cleland stipulated, “The purpose of this testimony you are about to hear is to offer an explanation about the [love] letters presented to you as evidence. This is offered for a very limited purpose.”
Dr. Atkins listed symptoms of HPD, including “A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts,” “Interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior,” and “Considers relationships more intimate than they actually are.”
Karl Rominger asked Dr. Atkins, “Can that disorder explain the content of these letters, aside from being ‘creepy love letters?'”
Dr. Atkins responded with a confident yes.
We are now in a short afternoon recess.