It only got worse for former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who is on trial for sex abuse with minors. In the second day of testimonies, one of Sandusky’s former co-workers, coach Mike McQueary, told jurors Tuesday that he saw his ex-colleague with a prepubescent boy in an on-campus shower and that he that he heard a “skin-on-skin smacking sound.”
His account of the night differed little from his appearance in December at a preliminary hearing for Penn State administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. The one difference: He said the shower encounter took place in 2001 instead of 2002.
But the effect of what he saw, and heard, was unchanged, he said, responding to questions from Senior Deputy Attorney General Joseph McGettigan.
Sandusky is on trial on 52 criminal counts related to the alleged assaults of 10 boys during a 15-year period. Authorities alleged Sandusky abused boys at his home and inside the football team’s on-campus facilities, among other places.
McQueary told the jury that he was at home, in bed, watching the film “Rudy,” when he decided to go to the football team building. He said he walked into the support staff locker room to put away a pair of new sneakers and, as he opened the door, he heard the noise.
“Very much skin-on-skin smacking sound,” he said. “I immediately became alert and was kind of embarrassed that I was walking in on something.”
He said that he turned and glanced over his right shoulder at a mirror that had a 45-degree angle and saw Sandusky “standing behind a boy who was propped up against a wall.” He estimated the boy to be 10 to 12 years old.
He said that the “boy’s hands (were) up on the wall. The glance would have taken only one or two seconds. I immediately turned back to my locker to make sure I saw what I saw.”
Then he put his shoes in the locker and slammed it shut, hard.
“I made the loud noise in an attempt to say ‘Someone’s here! Break it up!'” McQueary said.
When asked what he saw, McQueary said “the defendant’s midsection was moving” subtly.
He said he then went upstairs to his office.
“It was more than my brain could handle,” he said. “I was making decisions on the fly. I picked up the phone and called my father to get advice from the person I trusted most in my life, because I just saw something ridiculous.”
He said he was very vague with his father on the phone, and that his dad, John, told him to leave immediately and come to the house.
McQueary’s testimony came after a teenager told jurors that a school district guidance counselor initially didn’t believe his abuse claims because the former Penn State assistant football coach was considered to have “a heart of gold.”
The teen, labeled Victim No. 1 by a grand jury, tearfully recounted for jurors repeated instances of abuse, which he said included kissing, fondling and oral sex during sleepovers at the coach’s home.
A social worker who spoke to Sandusky about the boy’s claims testified that the coach denied having sexual contact with the boy but did acknowledge lying on top of him and blowing “raspberries” on the boy’s stomach. The social worker, Jessica Dershem, also said Sandusky told her he couldn’t recall whether he had ever touched the boy below his waistline.
The charges against Sandusky — and two university officials accused of perjury and failing to report suspected child abuse — touched off a massive scandal that led to the firing of Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno and the departure of the university president. Paterno died in January of lung cancer, just over two months after his ouster.
Now 18, the accuser known as Victim 1 recounted an early encounter that escalated to oral sex.
“I spaced,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do with all the thoughts running through my head. I just kind of blacked out and didn’t want it to happen. I froze.”
As he choked back tears, the sobbing teen recounted another time Sandusky forced him to perform oral sex, after saying it was his “turn.”
“I don’t know how to explain it. I froze, like any other time,” he said. “My mind is telling me to move but I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t move.”
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