Click HERE to watch today’s CrimeLine show, where I discuss the latest developments in the Sandusky trial. Day 3 saw the testimonies of victims 5,7 & 10, all who told stories similar to the first two victims of Sandusky’s bribes, threats, intimidation and gifts to allegedly keep them silent. “He told me that if I ever told anyone that I’d never see my family again,” said victim 10 Wednesday, who claims he was sexually abused in Sandusky’s own basement. Another accuser says Sandusky bribed him with Penn State football tickets, telling the court, “I just figured, I’ll keep it to myself and I get to go to these games.” These latest allegations reveal a pattern of techniques Sandusky allegedly employed to keep accusers silent. Victim 4 told the court Monday Sandusky showered him with gifts, including drum sets, snowboards, golf clubs and even a chance to wear the jersey of famed Penn State player LaVar Arrington. He also told the court Sandusky once said, “you don’t want to go home, do you?” after resisting his attempts in a hotel shower.
Again today Sandusky’s defense on cross-examination questioned the accusers on why they stayed silent for so long, why the details in some of their stories have changed and whether their accusations are financially motivated. Similar to the first two accusers, Wednesday’s victims testified they stayed silent due to fear, shame and embarrassment. One accuser attributed the fact that his account of the abuse is now more detailed to counseling sessions that helped him to remember more, a good explanation, and in my mind, proof the defense’s strategy is backfiring.
Wednesday also saw the testimony of Mike McQueary’s father, which is crucial to the case, as it helps establish the idea that McQueary is not making up his account that he saw/heard Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the Penn State showers. McQueary is essentially the only independent witness in this he-said, she-said case and Sandusky’s defense hinges on the idea that McQueary is making up his story. Yet, McQueary says he called his father immediately after the incident and told him about it at home. McQueary’s father verified that very story Wednesday, saying, his son told him “you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on.” More importantly, McQueary’s father testified his son told yet another person the story that night, family friend Dr. Jonathan Dranoff. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dranoff was also called to the stand to verify he also heard the same story. Shockingly, McQueary’s father testified that when he told Penn State official Gary Schultz about what his son saw, he testified Schultz told him there had been “noise” about Sandusky’s alleged abuses prior to that incident.
Thus far, the prosecution seems to be developing a strong case, with five victims telling similar stories of repeated abuse and intimidation. More importantly, the victims seem to be standing up well on cross as the defense insinuates they are motivated by the idea of a civil settlement and financial payout. I’ll be following the case as it progresses, follow me on Twitter @MariFagel for updates and tune into The CrimeLine next week, when our guest, a sexual abuse victim and advocate against child sex abuse joins me and Jon Leiberman to discuss the case Tuesday at 4:30 EST.