Thursday, December 14, 2017

Accusers: Sandusky employed threats and gifts

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — One, a foster child, said he was threatened, warned he would never see his family again if he ever told anyone what happened. Another said he stayed quiet because he didn't want to stop getting tickets to the hottest game in town — Penn State football.

That was how two of Jerry Sandusky's accusers explained the former Penn State assistant coach's hold over them.

"He told me that if I ever told anyone that I'd never see my family again," the former foster child said Wednesday, the third day of testimony in Sandusky's child sexual abuse trial.

He said it terrified him when Sandusky uttered the threat after the coach pinned him while wrestling in the basement of the Sandusky home and performed oral sex on him.

A foster child placed with another family, he occasionally stayed in the Sanduskys' basement in State College in the late 1990s.

Speaking in a calm but sometimes hesitant voice, the 25-year-old man, identified as Victim 10, said Sandusky later apologized for the threat: "He told me he didn't mean it and that he loved me."

Sandusky, 68, is charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, accusations he has denied. His arrest last fall rocked Penn State and led to the firing of football coach Joe Paterno for not taking stronger action against Sandusky after allegations emerged a decade ago.

Three of Sandusky's accusers testified Wednesday, bringing to five the number of them to take the stand.

Another boy, dubbed Victim 8, has never been located, and his identity is a mystery to prosecutors, but jurors heard about his alleged sexual abuse by Sandusky.

Judge John Cleland ruled that a co-worker of Penn State janitor Jim Calhoun could testify about what Calhoun told him in November 2000. Calhoun is now suffering from dementia.

The co-worker, Ron "Buck" Petrosky, said he encountered Calhoun in a football team locker room and the janitor told him he had seen Sandusky — he didn't realize it was a famous coach — making a boy perform oral sex on him.

Also Wednesday, another man, identified as Victim 5, said he met Sandusky at Second Mile Camp in 1999 and began attending Penn State games with Sandusky and others. In 2001, he said, Sandusky asked him to work out at a gym on campus and then groped him in the showers.

They had no contact since.

Another witness, Victim 7, said he was 10 when he met Sandusky through the charity in 1995. He said Sandusky showered with him repeatedly and embraced him during sleepovers.

The man, now 27, recalled attending Penn State football games with Sandusky's family and receiving free tickets from Sandusky as recently as 2009.

"I was kind of ashamed about it. I didn't want anybody to know," he said. "Probably most importantly, I didn't want my parents to keep me from going to games."

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