Sandusky trial: On Day 3, witnesses recall threats, rebuffs
June 14, 2012 12:00 PM
AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark
Former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky arrives for the fourth day of his trial at the Centre County Courthouse.
AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark
John McQueary, right, father of Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary, arrives at the Centre County Courthouse for the third day of testimony in the Jerry Sandusky trial. He was to appear as a witness for the prosecution.
By Paula Reed Ward Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- One of them rebuffed his advances and never saw Jerry Sandusky again.
Another said the former Penn State University assistant football coach threatened to harm his family if he told anyone about what had happened.
And a third alleged victim to testify Wednesday said he continued to socialize with the defendant and get football tickets from the man for more than nine years after the reported abuse stopped.
More victim testimony presented in Sandusky trial
The PG's Paula Ward reports on Day 3 testimony at the trial of Jerry Sandusky. (Video by Bob Donaldson; 6/13/2012)
Those three men were among six witnesses called in the prosecution's case against Mr. Sandusky, which could move into the defense phase by Friday.
Alleged Victim No. 5 was 10 years old when he was recommended to the Second Mile charity, not because he had a difficult home life but because a school counselor thought it would be a good idea for him to socialize with people who spoke English, since his parents spoke Polish at home.
He met Jerry Sandusky his first year at summer camp, in 1999 -- when the founder of the charity was in a skit playing the role of a Polish gangster -- the witness testified at the Sandusky child sexual abuse trial in the Centre County Courthouse.
At the end of the show, the boy went up and introduced himself and told the then-Penn State defensive coordinator that he was Polish, too.
That's how their friendship began. Over the next few seasons, Mr. Sandusky invited the boy to football games and outings, but unlike other alleged victims who have testified this week, this boy never slept at the defendant's home.
Now 23, the young man recounted to the jury his one and only sexual experience with Mr. Sandusky, which was also the last time he ever saw him.
It was late summer 2001, and Mr. Sandusky had called the boy to see if he'd like to go work out with him. They spent a few minutes on a treadmill and attempting chin-ups in a Penn State building before the coach said they needed to shower.
Mr. Sandusky first took the boy into the sauna in the Lasch football building.
They got undressed and wrapped towels around themselves.
"He parted the towel and he sat back and exposed himself to me," the man said, remembering that it made him uncomfortable.
They then moved to the showers.
The boy took a shower head at the far end of the room, but he said he could feel the defendant looking at him.
"He started coming in my direction. He threw soap in my direction and started lathering my shoulders. I felt his body on my back.
"I kept lurching forward, but I didn't have any farther to go. I felt his penis on my back," he testified.
He told the jury the defendant then placed the boy's hand on his penis. The witness said he was able to slide away and hurriedly left the shower.
Mr. Sandusky was angry, drove the boy home, and they did not speak or make eye contact.
He said he never spoke to Mr. Sandusky again.
That man's testimony differed significantly from that of the person identified as Victim No. 7 in the grand jury presentment. Mr. Sandusky is charged with molesting 10 boys over 15 years.
Now 27 years old, that man said that even after he stopped going on outings with Mr. Sandusky, he continued to request tickets for Penn State football games from the man until 2009.
That witness said he started at The Second Mile in 1995 at age 10 and continued to go to games with Mr. Sandusky until at least 2000.
He testified that he loved going to them and tolerated the man putting his hand on his knee to ensure he could continue.
The witness said he spent many nights at the defendant's home, and when it was time for bed, Mr. Sandusky would "cuddle" him.
"It was more like him wrapping himself around me," he said. Two or three times, he continued, the defendant caressed his nipples.
Typically, Mr. Sandusky wore a T-shirt and shorts, but sometimes he was bare-chested.
"To this day, I'm sort of repulsed by chest hair now," the witness said.
Even though the defendant's conduct made him uncomfortable, the boy kept it to himself because he enjoyed going to games.
The young man told the jury that a couple months after they began doing things together, the defendant took him to shower on Penn State's campus. He said the man tried to shampoo his hair and wash him, but the boy moved away.
He also said Mr. Sandusky came up behind him, pressing his naked front to the boy's naked back and gave him a bear hug, lifting him off the shower floor.
"I was kind of ashamed about it," he said. "I didn't want anyone to know. Probably most importantly, I didn't want my parents to keep me from going to games."
In all, he estimated showering with the defendant at least six times.
There was a point around 1997, the witness said, when Mr. Sandusky stopped calling him to go on outings.
"I had thought I did something wrong and was very upset about it," he said. "I thought I did something that offended him or made him angry."
The boy's mother called the coach, and the boy then continued to be invited to games.
On cross-examination by defense attorney Joe Amendola, Victim No. 7 said that he has hired a civil attorney with whom he has met 10 to 15 times. He has not paid the lawyer, who Mr. Amendola said is also representing another alleged victim.
The defense also presented the witness with inconsistencies between his testimony before the grand jury and in court Wednesday. During his previous testimony, the young man said he "didn't think" there had ever been any physical contact with the defendant in the shower.
He also said Mr. Sandusky never touched his penis under his pants at the grand jury, but testified otherwise Wednesday.
The witness tried to explain away the inconsistencies by saying that he has been in counseling for the last year, and that it has triggered new memories for him.
The young man said that he continued to request football tickets from the defendant until 2009, and that he didn't harbor any ill will toward the man until recent months.
Mr. Amendola showed the witness an application for a scholarship he filled out with The Second Mile in 2004. In it, he wrote, "Jerry Sandusky, he has changed my perceptions in life in a positive way.
"He is such a kind and caring gentleman, and I will never, ever forget him."
Earlier in the day, the man known as Victim No. 10, who came forward after the charges were initially filed against Mr. Sandusky, said the defendant performed a sex act on him in one of his first visits to the man's home.
The witness, who is now 25, said he and the defendant were wrestling in the basement when Mr. Sandusky pulled the boy's shorts down and began performing oral sex. The witness was 11 at the time.
"What did you do?" asked Joseph McGettigan III, senior deputy attorney general.
"I freaked out, got scared."
The event lasted a couple minutes.
"He told me if I told anybody I would never see my family again," the witness said. A short time later, Mr. Sandusky "apologized for saying that and told me he didn't mean it and he loved me."
Unlike the other alleged victims who have testified, No. 10 did not describe an evolving pattern of grooming. He also said Mr. Sandusky took him home after the incident, and he did not sleep over.
The boy met the defendant through The Second Mile summer camp program in 1997.
On cross-examination by Mr. Amendola, the man admitted he served 23 months in state prison for robbery and had also been arrested for theft.
Although the defense spent a lot of time on cross-examination with the first two victims of the day, it did not go after Victim No. 5 -- the boy from the Polish family -- nearly as much.
The only point the defense focused on with that witness was an inconsistency in the years the event in the shower allegedly occurred. In his grand jury testimony last year, No. 5 said it was in 1998, but Wednesday he said it was 2001.
If the incident began in the sauna, it could not have been 1998, because the old football building did not have a sauna, and Lasch, which does, did not open until 2000.
Mr. Amendola failed to even ask -- as has been the case with all the previous accusers -- if the man had a civil attorney.
Tom Kline, who is representing No. 5, said the reason for that was clear: His client's story is solid.
"I think what he said was unassailed, is unassailable and unimpeachable," Mr. Kline said. "This really happened, and it happened in a pattern and in a systematic way."
His client changed the years from 1998 to 2001, the lawyer continued, because he thought hard about it and went back and checked Second Mile records.
Unlike other accusers who have had difficulty as adults, Mr. Kline said his client comes from a strong family, and that the man's parents sat in the courtroom and watched his testimony to support him.
Ronald Petrosky, a custodian in the Lasch football building at Penn State, was the last witness called Wednesday.
He testified that one evening in the fall of 2000, when he entered the support staff locker room to clean the showers, he saw two pairs of legs inside -- one hairy and one that looked like those of a small child.
He left the area to allow them to finish showering, and a short time later, Mr. Sandusky and a small boy walked out, with their hair wet.
"About three-quarters of the way down [the hall], Jerry took the boy's hand," Mr. Petrosky said.
A short time after that, he said a fellow janitor came out, shaking and white.
"I could see that he was upset. His face was white. His hands were trembling."
He said that man, Jim Calhoun, then said, "I just witnessed something I'll never forget the rest of my life. He had this boy, with his hands against the wall, licking his privates."
Mr. Petrosky said his colleague was crying and shaking.
According to the prosecution, Mr. Calhoun is unavailable to testify because he is hospitalized and has dementia.
Before Mr. Petrosky took the stand there was debate with Senior Judge John M. Cleland whether he should be allowed to testify. His statements of what Mr. Calhoun saw are considered hearsay, which is typically inadmissible. However, the judge ruled that it was an "excited utterance," and therefore an exception to the rule.
The defense still tried to argue that without additional corroboration that a crime had occurred, Mr. Calhoun's statement should still be out. But, again, the judge ruled against Mr. Sandusky, saying the jury could review the case as a whole to determine if a crime occurred.
Testimony will continue today. The prosecution said it may conclude by the end of the week.