Accuser Testifies That Jerry Sandusky “Treated Him Like His Girlfriend”
A 28-year-old man testified Monday that former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky treated him “like his girlfriend” for more than two years, showering him with gifts he was afraid he would lose if he told anyone about Sandusky’s increasingly sexual behavior. Sandusky, 68, denies all 52 counts alleging that he abused 10 boys over 15 years. Two grand jury reports accused him of having used his connection to one of the nation’s premier college football programs to “groom” the boys —whom he met through his Second Mile charity for troubled children — for sexual relationships.
Earlier, on the opening day of his trial, Sandusky’s attorney appeared to surprise prosecutors by listing Sandusky as a possible witness in his own defense. The trial before a jury of seven women and five men heard opened in Centre County Court in Bellefonte, Pa., culminating months of breathless coverage that led to the firing of head coach Joe Paterno, who won more games than any other major college football coach in history, many of them with Sandusky at his side.
Paterno died in January, a few weeks after he was dismissed for having failed to report Sandusky’s alleged abuse. The first of eight alleged victims expected to testify — identified as alleged victim No. 4 — said he endured more than 40 “very uncomfortable” incidents involving Sandusky during the two years, when he was 12 and 13 years old. (Although the men are being identified by name in court, NBC News and msnbc.com do not identify the victims of alleged sexual assaults.)