Jerry Sandusky faces 52 counts of child sex abuse
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UPDATE: Two more accusers took the stand Thursday during what may prove to be the final day prosecutors make their case against Jerry Sandusky.
The two men, both now 25, offered details of sexual abuse at the hands of the former Penn State coach when they were young children, accusations that mirrored those made by previous witnesses.
The Associated Press reports that one of Thursday's witnesses, known as "Victim 6" to prosecutors, told the jurors that Sandusky called himself the "tickle monster" before embracing him during a post-workout shower in 1998 that eventually led to a brief, but eventually aborted, investigation into the coach. The other witness, known as "Victim 3", told the court that he had loved Sandusky as a father figure despite the sexual abuse, and that he was hurt when he later lost contact with the coach after being moved to an out-of-town group home.
"He just forgot about me, like I was nothing," said the man. "I would pray he would call me and maybe find a way to get me out of there ... but it never happened."
Victim 6 recalled the post-workout shower that eventually led to the investigation that resulted in no charges. The investigator who interviewed the boy at the time also testified that he felt the case was strong enough to file charges, but that then-District Attorney Ray Gricar disagreed. Gricar was pronounced dead after disappearing in 2005.
In all, seven accusers have testified during the first four days of the high-profile trial. Prosecutors suggested to the judge earlier in the day that they might be able to wrap up their case by the end of the day.
Wednesday, June 13: Another day, two more of Jerry Sanduksy's accusers on the stand.
The biggest takeaway from the day's testimony came from a 25-year-old man, dubbed "Victim 10" by prosecutors, who told the jury that Sandusky pinned him down and preformed oral sex on him when he was an a preteen foster child. The witness said that the assistant football coach later threatened to keep him from his birth family if he reported the incident, the Associated Press reports.
The accuser told the court that Sandusky later apologized for his threat. "He told me he didn't mean it and that he loved me," the witness recalled.
Another accuser, "Victim 7," also took the stand during the trial's third day to accuse the former assistant football coach of showering naked with him and embracing him tightly in bed during sleepovers, accusations that mirror the testimony of previous witnesses. The accuser, now an adult, has remained close with the coach, though, attending football games with the Sandusky family as recently as 2009, NBC News notes.
The third witness on the stand Wednesday was the father of assistant coach Mike McQueary, who testified Tuesday about an incident in 2001 when he witnessed Sandusky apparently raping a boy in the shower and reported it to the university. John McQueary recalled speaking on the phone with his son immediately afterward. He said he mentioned the matter to former university vice president Gary Schultz, who responded that he had heard "noises" about Sandusky’s misconduct before.
Tuesday, June 12: Day 2 of Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse trial got under way Tuesday with a second accuser taking the stand to detail his allegations against the former Penn State coach. Taking center stage during the witness testimony was the local community's apparent blind eye to what was going on.
The Associated Press reports that the man the prosecution calls "Victim 1" told the court that a school guidance counselor dismissed his report of sexual assault, insisting that the well-known coach had a "heart of gold."
The 18-year-old witness, whose accusations helped to set off the investigation of Sandusky, took the stand tearfully, just five days after graduating from high school. He recalled how, after meeting Sandusky through Second Mile around the age of 11 or 12, the two grew closer.
The witness recalled staying over at Sandusky’s home for "sleepovers" more than 100 times, and detailed how goodnight kisses escalated into sexual assault in the basement, CNN reports. The teen said he tried to distance himself from the coach and joined the local chapter of Big Brother, Big Sister, which angered Sandusky. The witness recalled one instance when he tried to run away on foot and Sandusky pursued in his car, demanding they spend more time together, the Washington Post notes.
The witness said that at one point he asked his mother about the website where child sex offenders are listed. "I told her I wanted to see if Jerry was on there," he told the jury. Alarmed, the boy’s mother reached out to a school guidance counselor. But when she suggested contacting the police or child services, the counselor allegedly warned against it. "They wouldn’t believe me," the witness recounted.
Monday, June 11: Jerry Sandusky's trial got under way Monday with testimony from the first of what is expected to be eight accusers that will take the stand to tell the jury about how the former Penn State assistant football coach allegedly sexually abused them as children.
The Associated Press reports that the first witness, a 28-year-old dubbed "Victim No. 4" by prosecutors, recounted to the court how he was 13 or so when he met Sandusky in 1997 through the coach's Second Mile charity. The accuser told of how group showers with Sandusky escalated from "soap battles" into inappropriate touching and oral sex, and later resulted in "creepy love letters," some of which the prosecution displayed on a video screen.
The alleged victim testified that there were later incidents on trips to Penn State bowl games, including an attempt to force him to have oral sex. He never told anyone about the abuse, he said, because Sandusky threatened to cut him off from Penn State if he did.
Sandusky faces a total of 52 criminal counts that he sexually abused 10 boys over a 15-year span, allegations he has denied.
Earlier in the day, the prosecution and defense delivered opening statements in the high-profile trial that is expected to last several weeks. The chief prosecutor told the jury that Sandusky targeted boys from fatherless or unstable families and kept lists of boys involved with his charity with details like hair color and shoe size. The defense, meanwhile, questioned the motives of Sandusky’s accusers, noting that several of them had retained civil lawyers, and suggested that Sandusky’s peculiar behavior with the boys may be explained by generational differences. Sandusky's lawyer also suggested he may testify.
The AP has much more detail on the lurid first day of the trial, which is set to continue on Tuesday.