Back-Cracking, Fondling at Sleepovers
Many of the victims of molestation at Sandusky’s hands, all of whom he met through his Second Mile foundation, included details in their testimonies to the jury about how Sandusky frequently invited them over for sleepovers at his home in Centre County, Pa. Victim 1, who claimed he was 11 or 12 years old when he met Sandusky through the Second Mile, said Sandusky would frequently come into his bedroom and “crack his back” after he’d turned out the light. Sandusky would arrange the back-cracking so that he would simultaneously “run his arms up and down the boy’s back” while the boy was lying on top of him, face to face. The summer after they met, when the boy was entering sixth or seventh grade, back-cracking progressed to fondling, mouth-kissing, and “blowing on Victim 1’s bare stomach.” Sandusky “performed oral sex on him more than 20 times” between 2007 and 2008, and forced the boy to give him oral sex on at least one occasion (3). Victim 3 recalled having his genitals fondled “through the athletic shorts he wore to bed” during sleepovers, while Victim 7 was also subjected to cuddling and back-cracking at Sandusky’s home.
“I can’t account for, you know, their motives to make those allegations. I, you know, that’s not for me to say. That would be for them to say.”
Sandusky’s 'Needy' Relationship With Victims
Steven Turchetta, the assistant principal and head football coach at Victim 1’s high school, first met Sandusky in 2002 when he attempted to assist the Second Mile boys on his football team. By 2008, Sandusky was a full-time volunteer coach. Turchetta described Sandusky to the jury as “very controlling within the mentoring relationships he established with Second Mile students” (5). He also said he often was forced to be the mediator during Sandusky’s “shouting matches” with several of the boys, adding that Sandusky would be “clingy” and “needy” when one broke off their relationship, which Turchetta thought was “suspicious.”
“I’m a very passionate person in terms of trying to make a difference in the lives of some young people. I had worked very hard to try to connect with them, to make them feel good about themselves, to be something significant in their lives … I have worked with many, many young people where there has been no misinterpretation of my actions and I have made a very significant difference in their lives.”
'Slapping Sounds' and Bear Hugs in the Shower
In March, 2002, Penn State graduate assistant Mike McQueary “heard rhythmic slapping sounds” when he entered the locker room at the Lasch Football Building on Penn State’s University Park Campus. When he peered into the shower, he saw a naked boy (Victim 2), whom he estimated was 10 years old, with his hands pinned up against the wall “being subjected to anal intercourse by a naked Sandusky” (7).
“OK, we were showering and horsing around, and he actually turned all the showers on and was actually sliding across the floor, and we were, as I recall, possibly like snapping a towel, horseplay.”
Victim 3, now 24, testified that—during the summer of 2000, when he was between seventh and eighth grade—Sandusky “initiated physical contact in the shower by patting him, rubbing his shoulders, washing his hair and giving him bear hugs.” He also recalled that his mentor had an erection “on at least one occasion” when he bear-hugged him from behind.
Victim 5, who met Sandusky “in 1995 or 1996, when he was a 7 or 8 year old boy,” had a similarly traumatizing experience. After they wrestled in the Penn State locker rooms, Sandusky brought him into a sauna and “pushed [him] around a little bit,” then said they needed to shower. He felt uncomfortable, since he had never showered with anyone who wasn’t a family member, and was particularly disturbed when he noticed Sandusky’s erection. Suddenly, “Sandusky’s’ body touched Victim 5 from behind and Sandusky was rubbing Victim 5’s arms and shoulders” (17). When Victim 5 moved away at his touch, Sandusky followed him and proceeded to pin him up against a wall and place his hand on his erect penis.
“Well, I could say that, you know, I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them. I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact.”
Presents and Promises in Exchange for Sexual Favors
Sandusky frequently showered his favorite Second Mile boys with gifts and treated them to special occasions. Victim 1 told the jury he was given “golf clubs, a computer, gym clothes, dress clothes, and cash” and was often taken to “restaurants, swimming at a hotel near Sandusky’s home, and to church” (2).
Victim 4, who was singled out by Sandusky at age 12 or 13 during his second year at The Second Mile, was given “clothes, a snowboard, Nike shoes, golf clubs, ice hockey equipment and lessons, passes for various sporting events, football jerseys, and registration for soccer camp” (15). Sandusky even guaranteed him a walk-on spot on Penn State’s team and frequently put him up at the Toftrees Golf resort in Centre County, where the team stayed before home games. Here, Sandusky would “wrestle with him” and “maneuver him” into a position so that his head was at Sandusky’s genitals and vice versa. “Victim 4 described Sandusky rubbing his genitals on Victim 4’s face and inserting his erect penis in Victim 4’s mouth,” occasionally “ejaculating” (15). He testified that Sandusky also tried to penetrate him anally “with both a finger and his penis.” But whenever he resisted, Sandusky threatened to send him home.
“You know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.”
Victim 6, who is now 24, recalled being in the shower with Sandusky in 1998, when he was 11, and being disturbed when Sandusky, approaching him from behind, grabbed his waist and said, “I’m going to squeeze your guts out.” He then proceeded to soap up the boy’s backside, pressing his naked body against the boy’s, and then lifted him up toward the shower head to rinse off. When the boy’s mother later confronted Sandusky about the incident, asking him if he touched him with his “private parts,” Sandusky replied, “I don’t think so … Maybe.” When she forbid him to see her son anymore, his reaction was more revealing than any of his responses in last night’s interview: “I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.”
“Well, I can’t exactly recall what was said there. In terms of what I did say was that if he felt that way, then I was wrong and I didn’t want to leave that kind of impression. I did lift him, and that’s what I said.”
'I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you.' —Sandusky to a victim’s mother, according to the grand jury
What the Janitor Saw
In the fall of 2000, a janitor named James “Jim” Calhoun saw Sandusky perform oral sex on a young boy, whom he believed to be roughly 13 years old (Victim 8). He told another employee that night that he had seen Sandusky “holding the boy up against the wall and licking on him” (22). He added that he had “fought in the [Korean] war…seen people with their guts blowed out, arms dismembered … I just witnessed something in there I’ll never forget.” The employee, Ronald Petrosky, testified that “Jim was shaking and he and his fellow employees feared he might have a heart attack.” Calhoun was unable to testify, and Victim 8’s identity remains unknown.
After telling Bob Costas that this event never occurred, Sandusky added, “I don’t know what you want me to say. I don’t think that these have been the best days of my life. These false allegations have stripped, you know, so much of our life away and so many things that are dear to us.”
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