The Faces of 90.5 WESA
Mon June 11, 2012
Day Two Of Sandusky Trial
A now 27 year old man, known as Victim 4, took the stand Monday in the first day of testimony in the child sexual abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte.
The witness says he was sexually abused as a 13 year old on campus and then in hotel saunas, starting with horseplay in showers and "soap battles" that turned into inappropriate touching and oral sex.
Sandusky sat still during the testimony Monday as the man explained that he began showering with Sandusky in 1997.
The man says he met Sandusky through The Second Mile charity that the assistant coach founded. He says that he received letters from Sandusky, too, including one on Penn State letterhead. He said the relationship lasted about five years.
Earlier in the day opening arguments were presented by the prosecution and defense.
Photos of eight alleged victims of sexual abuse by Sandusky were projected onto a screen in front of the jury. Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan identified each of them by first name, and detailed the circumstances of their alleged abuse by the former Penn State assistant football coach.
McGettigan said investigations into Sandusky's conduct with children have been opened several times before. Sandusky's defense lawyer Joe Amendola suggested that the eight alleged victims expected to testify have a financial interest in the case. He points out that the majority of them have their own civil attorneys. And he says the fact that earlier investigations have not resulted in charges filed only lends support to Sandusky's innocence.
Sandusky sat quietly at the defense table and looked to his right at a video screen at times while McGettigan outlined the allegations. Some of the allegations read aloud by McGettigan were graphic. McGettigan repeatedly called Sandusky a "predatory pedophile."
But Amendola said Sandusky's habit of showering with boys following workouts was innocent and acceptable to anyone familiar with athletic programs.
Prior to the opening arguments an attorney for Sandusky asked Judge John Cleland to admit into evidence Sandusky's entire autobiography.
Karl Rominger says he believes the prosecution will try to use snippets from the book "Touched" to mischaracterize Sandusky's actions and motivations. Rominger says jurors should see the whole book so they can put the material in context.
Rominger also asked the judge to admit the grand jury testimony of Penn State officials Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. He says all three are expected to invoke their right against self incrimination if the defense calls them to testify.
The trial is expected to last a few weeks.
But along with the trial, several other investigations are under way that may also shed light on what occurred. Those looking into the matter include a state grand jury, federal prosecutors, Penn State's own investigators and civil litigators.